PHOENIX (AP) -- Ryan McDonough measured the questions, addressed each reporter by name, then delivered concise, thoughtful answers about his vision for the Phoenix Suns.

When he went to answer the final question, one about his two brothers sitting in the audience, McDonough struggled to get the words out, emotion cracking his voice, causing him to pause.

"I saw George Karl do this last night when he talked about his family," McDonough said Thursday during his introductory news conference as general manager of the Suns. "He's coach of the year, he's a Hall of Famer, so hopefully you guys can give me a little rope here."

What McDonough has immediately in front of him are the reins of a franchise in need of better direction.

A rising star among NBA executives and a member of a successful Boston sports family, the 33-year-old McDonough was hired Tuesday to replace Lance Blanks, another former star-in-the-making who failed to lead the Suns to the playoffs in three seasons. McDonough comes to Planet Orange with a tireless work ethic that took him from a 23-year-old in the Boston Celtics video room to becoming Danny Ainge's right-hand man as assistant general manager.

"He's prepared, I think his whole life, for this opportunity," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. "His work ethic is prodigious and well known throughout the NBA."

Success runs in McDonough's family. His father, Will, was a sports columnist for the Boston Globe for 41 years before he died of a heart attack in 2003.


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McDonough's brother Sean works for ABC/ESPN and was the Boston Red Sox TV announcer. Their brother Terry won a Super Bowl with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens in 2001 and was the Jacksonville Jaguars director of player personnel the past four years before being released after the 2012 season.