Bucks' Eric Bledsoe on Phoenix return: 'Game we just got to win'

MILWAUKEE -- New Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe says Wednesday's game at Phoenix is "just another game."

But as the 27-year-old began to talk about facing his former team for the first time since being traded Nov. 7, a small smile crossed his face.

"It's just another game," Bledsoe said after Monday's 99-88 loss to the Washington Wizards. "Another game we just got to win. We got to win this game, get above .500, build off that."

Bledsoe, who was dealt to the Bucks in exchange for Greg Monroe and protected first- and second-round 2018 picks, tweeted, "I don't wanna be here" on Oct. 22 and did not play for the Suns again after being sent home by Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough.

Bledsoe said he wasn't sure how he would be received by the Phoenix crowd after helping to orchestrate his departure out of town.

"Who knows?" Bledsoe said. "I love the fans and I hope they love me back, but you know how that go. Love my teammates I played with while I was there. I'm just focused on the game. I got great teammates that will have my back."

Bledsoe wouldn't bite when asked if he wished both he and the Suns organization would have handled things differently in the end.

"I'm at this point now," Bledsoe said. "I'm on another team focused on what we can build here. So I ain't focused on that."

Bledsoe did acknowledge that playing against his former teammates would bring him some extra joy.

"Oh for sure," he said. "Everybody knew what happened, the situation that went down. I just got to come out and play my game and don't worry about nothing else."

Bledsoe has struggled at times during his first couple weeks in Milwaukee. He is averaging 11.8 points a game, down from the 15.7 points he averaged in three games this season with the Suns. He does not feel like he has anything to prove against his former team, a team he still believes in "because they got way better players than their record show."

"I've proven enough in this league," Bledsoe said. "Just got to get back to playing confident. I'm with a talented group of guys that can also make plays, so I got to try to find my game a little bit more."

Bledsoe is looking forward to going against close friend Devin Booker for the first time in the NBA. The pair were teammates in Phoenix since Booker was selected by the Suns with the 13th pick in the 2015 draft.

"Book's a talented player, man," Bledsoe said. "I got a lot of respect for him. He works hard. It's all love off the court, but on the court we're definitely going to compete against each other."