That’s how Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet is living his life right now after finding closure and opening the door to a whole new life as he finally meets his father, Ron Davis.
“I contacted my dad for the first time last year, last fall,” Shamet said at Monday’s upcoming media day. “And with that began the role of big brother with three younger sisters. I haven’t met any of them. They didn’t know about me. I’ve known them since I was 16 years old.”
Shamet’s mom, Melanie, told him about his father when he was a teenager.
Almost 10 years later, he contacted Davis, who played overseas for 15 years.
“Being a single mom’s only child my whole life, it’s been a life changer,” Shamet continued. “Going into that, and being in that position, I think I underestimated everything that would come with it. The things that would go on inside me. So frankly, a lot of the time last year, my mind going into games, it wasn’t all about basketball. I feel like I’m in a place now where it can be like I’ve been with family this whole summer.”
Now at ease with that and many other things, Shamet enters his second season in Phoenix with a clear mind and focus on playing at a high level.
“I’ll be the first to tell you, the year I had last year, that’s not the best product I want to put on the floor,” Shamet said. “I know it. I know what I’m capable of. I believe in what I’m capable of.”
Shamet admitted that he did not intend to discuss this on media day, but he felt that he wanted to talk about an aspect that is very important to his life now.
“That’s my life, my truth, who I am,” Shamet said. “And I’m proud of it. Proud of it all. Proud of how it’s all gone.”
Shamet spoke with a poise and focus that further confirms that he has put the past behind him and is fully focused on what is truly important – family and basketball.
“You’re overwhelmed and there are times you can get carried away and get caught up and care too much about that hustle and what people will think, say, whatever,” he said. “Really, it’s as simple as you make it. Really, it’s just basketball, it’s my family, it’s my sisters and that’s my life right now and it feels really good.”
Shamet said he spent this summer getting to know his sisters, who gave him another support system he never experienced.
“I love them to death,” he said. “It’s the coolest situation I’ve ever been in. It gives me purpose. I don’t care what anyone says about me, because I got them. It’s really cool. After sorting some of that out, that’s part of my life now. There aren’t many unknowns anymore.”
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Shamet felt like he had the weight of the world on his back with this situation.
Freed from that mental and emotional yearning for answers, Shamet is free to flourish as a player, a son to his father who dreamed of playing in the NBA and a big brother to a new set of brothers.
“Crazy,” Shamet said. “It’s crazy.”
‘I’m in a good place’
Shamet certainly looks like he’s in a better place after the last year.
In his first season in Phoenix, Shamet, 25, averaged career lows in points (8.3 per game), field goal percentage (39.4%) and 3-point percentage (36.8%).
Shamet later found himself out of the rotation during the playoffs as he scored a total of 52 points in 12 playoff games.
Definitely not Shamet’s best.
“I know that,” continued Shamet, who had a bout with COVID-19 and suffered foot and ankle injuries last season. “I know what I’m capable of. I believe in what I am capable of.”
He drew heavy criticism and saw his name thrown around in trade talks last season. Shamet owns up to how he underperformed, admits his focus was distracted and he took time in the offseason to address it all.
“Last year, I had 100,000 things going on and being able to manage that as a guy this summer is even the reasons for it,” Shamet said.
“I feel like I’m in a good place. I saw a lot about what people said about me last year and I appreciate it. I agree with him. I am my biggest critic before anyone else. I know that’s not Landry. That’s not the best version of me and I know what that can be and what that looks like. I’m ready to move on.”
An honest Shamet said he “put a lot of s—ta to sleep this summer that I needed” and hopefully that will lead to him playing to his potential this season.
“A lot of things personally in my life, I’m in a good place,” Shamet said. “I think what’s to come with the team in the second year. I was on several teams and to be able to come back to the same organization and the same group, I’m excited about it. I feel really good about it.”
This is the first time Shamet has started two consecutive seasons with the same team.
The 6-4 guard began his career at Philadelphia, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers his rookie year. He played his entire second season with the Clippers, but was dealt to Brooklyn before his third season.
Phoenix then traded Jevon Carter and a first-round pick to the Nets for Shamet on draft night in 2021.
The Suns signed Shamet to a four-year, $43 million extension. The contract provided a sense of stability and comfort, but Shamet didn’t consistently find his game last season.
When he did, Phoenix won at a high rate.
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The Suns went 19-4 in the regular season and Shamet scored at least 10 points.
So while Shamet can play the lead, the Suns can use his scoring to relieve pressure from their All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul to get buckets.
“We put a lot of emphasis on Chris and Book to make a lot of the plays down the stretch,” Shamet said. “There are times when teams are going to take away some of those options. So step in and be able to make the right play. Make plays off the dribble for others. Join, score, pass.”
Do you have an idea about the current position of the Sun? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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This article originally appeared on the Arizona Republic: Landry Shamet meets father, siblings; family oriented, basketball