PHOENIX – You could say Channing Frye lived a dream life for the past year.
While earning a $6 million salary that was paid by insurance, while he sat out because of an enlarged heart, Frye spent last winter in Portland, Ore., and “enjoyed” virtually unlimited leisure time.
“I’d wake up. Do yoga. Play with the kids. Uh, whatever I wanted,” Frye said. “Go to a ballgame maybe. Watch some football.”
“Boring. Boring as (expletive). Not awesome,” Frye said. “After a week it’s cool, but then it’s like `C’mon.’ “
But today, the Suns formally acknowledged Frye is back, having been cleared unanimously by a number of doctors, and he hopped the team bus this afternoon for training camp in Flagstaff.
Life was normal again. The Suns were even talking about having the big man be a valued veteran (at 30, he’s their oldest player) and a valuable shooter who can stretch defenses.
“We have enough bodies but obviously Channing does some special things,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said. “His leadership and professionalism are important for us.”
Frye said he wasn't sure how long he would take to get fully back on the court, saying he would know more after this week. But that's just a minor detail in one respect: A year ago, Frye wondered if he'd even have the chance to play again at all, with a virus having caused his enlarged heart.
Saying he “could have been on a bunch of pills,” Frye said he healed largely through natural means, seeing naturopathic doctors and a yoga instructor who worked with him five days a week. Frye said the doctors who cleared him were traditional doctors but it was the naturopathic ones who healed him.
“I did a lot of meditation to think about it and you think, 'Does it feel right? Is this what your body is telling you?’ “ Frye said of possibly not playing again. “When I sit down it’s like `(expletive) that, I’m not done with that.’ That’s not me. You know what I’m saying. I’m not done. I’m not gonna give up and I’m not going to sit here and say 'You know what this sucks. This is tough. It’s getting expensive and I’m tired of getting poked and prodded.’
“It was more like `You know what? I’m going to do 100 percent of what I can to get back because at the end of the day if I can’t come back I can say I did it all.' I can live with that. And I’m cool with that.”
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