Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton has been candid about how his outlook on life has changed since becoming a father, so it was no surprise to see his best game of the season come on his first birthday. son.
March 6 marks the birthday of Deandre Ayton Jr.
— Deandre Ayton (@DeandreAyton) March 6, 2022
To celebrate the occasion, Ayton scored a season-high 30 points in the Suns’ Sunday loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
He did it in special shoes bearing his son’s name, as well as the Sesame Street character, Elmo.
Ayton told ESPN’s Malika Andrews it was because ‘Lil’ Dre listens to Elmo more than his dad, understandable behavior for a one-year-old.
A little extra motivation for DeAndre Ayton today: it’s his son’s first birthday. Ayton told me that DeAndre Jr. doesn’t listen to him, but listens to Elmo – so Elmo is on his shoes. pic.twitter.com/n08mgyquFj
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) March 6, 2022
Ayton has been terrific in Milwaukee, using his floaters and midrange jumper to adapt to how defenses like to clog the paint for the center who does most of his damage in that area.
The 23-year-old ended his post-match press conference on Sunday with another shoutout and dedication to his son.
A big thank you to Deandre Ayton’s son who is celebrating his first birthday today. Pops dedicated his season-high 30 points to him. pic.twitter.com/b6JWO1XPNe
—Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 7, 2022