“I See It And Feel It” | Suns Star DeAndre Ayton Believes The Whole World Hates Him

It hasn’t been the best ending to the past two seasons for the Phoenix Suns or their star center DeAndre Ayton.

The 2018 No. 1 overall pick had a highly publicized rift with former Suns head coach Monty Williams in 2021-22 that carried over to this past season. Things didn’t get much better when Ayton was seen ignoring Chris Paul’s pep talk during the Suns’ Western Conference semifinals loss to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets. It didn’t help matters that Ayton sat out a must-win Game 6 with a rib confusion, a game the Suns were never competitive in. 

That loss sent Ayton and the Suns into an offseason of uncertainty as far as who they would fit around superstars Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. They made a major power move by adding Bradley Beal in a trade with the Washington Wizards.

They also moved on from injury-prone point guard Chris Paul, who is now at Golden State, meaning the only two players left on the Suns roster from their 2020-21 NBA Finals appearance are Ayton and Booker.

But the perception currently around Ayton is he won’t do what it takes to win a championship, and that’s not good. 

Ayton recently expressed his feelings while in his native Bahamas. 

Ayton Thinks Whole World Hates Him

While home in his native Bahamas, Ayton, who also donated $10,000 to a youth program, gave an in-depth interview to “Eyewitness News Bahamas.”

The talented but inconsistent big man talked about how he is perceived. 

“I can hear the whole world hating me, in a way, where I think I’m the guy a lot of people point at,” Ayton told Eyewitness News Bahamas. “I see it and feel it. Mainly, what I’ve been working at the five or six days a week since we lost is just motivating myself to just change the narrative of what people think about me. ’Cause no matter how you put it, I feel like I have no fans out here.

“I can feel it because the whole world is saying it,” Ayton continued. “My goal this whole summer is to change the narrative, just unlock whatever it is and just completely focus on me, and change the whole thing.”

Ayton has brought a lot of that on himself with his lethargic play and nonchalant attitude on the court. Fans can sense that, and when they pay their hard-earned money to watch Ayton take plays and even days off, it doesn’t play well. For Ayton at times that’s come into question, and for any athlete it’s not a good look, but especially one making roughly $33 million per season. 

Ayton Was Solid In The 2022 Regular Season, Disappearing Act In Postseason

Despite Ayton’s angst at the Suns for matching the offer sheet which kept him from going to the Indiana Pacers last offseason, Ayton still averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and nearly two assists per game on nearly 60 percent shooting in the regular season. 

But it’s in the playoffs matched up against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic where he just didn’t bring it. The Bahamian big man saw his averages dip to 13 points, nine rebounds and one assist per game in the playoffs, where he was thoroughly outplayed by not only by Jokic, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, but also played to a draw by L.A .Clippers center Ivica Zubac. 

Not exactly what you’d expect from a former No. 1 pick. And that’s why he’s here at this crossroad in his career, and the 2023-24 season will be career defining for Ayton. 

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