What a time to be an Arizona sports fan.
Within the last calendar year, the likes of stars DeAndre Hopkins, Chris Paul and now J.J. Watt are calling the Valley home.
And after both the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals just missed out on ending their respective playoff droughts, it feels like the return of postseason play in the Valley is on the horizon.
“I have definitely gotten that vibe in the last 24 hours, I can tell you that for sure. The energy is palpable, you can feel it. There is definitely an excitement,” Watt said in his introductory press conference on Tuesday.
“There’s an energy in the air and I’m very excited to be a part of that and I’m excited to cultivate and help that grow and help that energy only get bigger.”
But this won’t be Watt and Paul’s first rodeo as leaders of their teams in the same city.
Paul’s Rockets and Watt’s Texans managed to make the playoffs a combined three times in the two years the duo was in Houston from 2017-19.
And with the Suns currently sitting as a top-four team in the Western Conference, Paul might be able to cash in on his side of the deal before the Cardinals even begin OTAs.
Not to mention that both are also extremely well-praised for their high level of character — if Watt being an NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year or Paul being the president of the NBPA didn’t give that away already.
“Chris is an incredible guy. He’s an incredible person, he’s an incredible player, a father,” Watt said. “Just the way he handles himself and the way he goes about his business, he’s a guy I have so much respect for and I think everybody around the league and everybody around the world has respect for Chris and how he does things.
“Very excited to be back in the same area as him and as [Devin Booker] and all those guys. If there isn’t enough energy in the Valley, we’re going to try to turn it up a few notches.”