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This Is the Life

In eight splendid days as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amaré Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way

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In keeping track of deflections during Phoenix's intrasquad scrimmage, McCallum (left) prodded Nash (center) to pick up his defense.
In keeping track of deflections during Phoenix's intrasquad scrimmage, McCallum (left) prodded Nash (center) to pick up his defense.
John W. McDonough/SI

By Jack McCallum

The hardest thing was putting on the shirt. Many years ago, en route to cover a Celtics game at the old Boston Garden for Sports Illustrated, I realized I was wearing green, the home team's color. I jumped out of a cab, ran into a department store and bought a different shirt. That's the extent to which a journalist will go to keep his professional distance.  ... To get immediate access to this complete story you must be a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazine subscriber. If you are not currently a subscriber, see below for a special offer.

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