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Suns Slowly Flaming Out

Posted By Thomas Mitchell On Aug 26 2012 @ 7:34 pm In Phoenix Suns | No Comments

Hello fellow Suns fans. What a hot and miserable summer it has been, in so many senses. Not only did we lose the best Canadian athlete since Wayne Gretzky, we lost him to those entitled chumps in Los Angeles. What’s even more disappointing is that any rational fan couldn’t blame Nash for leaving, he was getting diminishing returns from the team every year despite his stellar play. He voiced his desire to stay here if Phoenix showed a desire to contend, however Suns management preferred to stay mediocre so he left for greener pastures, MUCH greener pastures. Seriously, how is LA’s lineup this year even fair? If you’re tired as an Arizona sports fan of feeling like LA’s little brother who nobody likes as much, be prepared to endure even more. With Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, and Nash joining Kobe Bryant only injuries can stop LA from dominating this division.

Things could be worse. We could be one of the seven fans the Bobcats have, or live in Seattle where the mood is as gloomy as the weather whenever Kevin Durant plays. But at least those seven Bobcats fans can say they’re in a rebuilding phase, and Seattle can still hold up more championship trophies than Phoenix without even boasting a franchise. Point being, your situation is what you make of it. I don’t know what to make of Phoenix’s situation though, at least not with hopes for a championship.

I don’t want to sound like I absolutely hate the current roster, because I really don’t. I think this team will surprise some people and compete hard. Getting PG Goran Dragic back was a nice surprise, even though Phoenix should’ve never let go of him in the first place. I also think forward Michael Beasley has a very good chance to start a new page to a career that could be better than most think, and at $6 million a year it was a risk worth taking for the Suns due to their lack of scoring. Grabbing Luis Scola off amnesty waivers would be a good move for any team in need of a post player, and the Suns were in need of any good player available, so kudos to them. With Dragic and rookie Kendall Marshall running the point, Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley probably at the shooting guard, ¬†guys like Beasley, Markieff Morris, & Channing Frye playing forward, and Marcin Gortat playing center, the Suns will field a team that could make a run at reaching the playoffs.

However, making the playoffs as a low seed should not be the peak of this franchise, and that’s all I see with this team and any team Phoenix puts out there for the next several years. It looks like they made just enough moves to not be that bad, but they’re still not good enough to even potentially be a top 10 team. By being in the middle of the pack Phoenix guarantees no high draft picks, meaning significantly less chances at landing a future star. Being a middle of the pack team in a medium sized market doesn’t make it easy to acquire free agents either, nor does it make the Suns powerful in the trade market. With all of those factors put together Phoenix might not be a title contender again for a while, not that they have been for the last few years. Good scouting and developing draft picks to create a system usually leads to sustained success, but you still need at least one guy who can consistently change games and those are hard to come by.

The Suns put themselves in this hole for the most part. Back when Nash was running the show with Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire, the Suns gave up draft picks that turned into guys like Rajon Rondo and Loul Deng. They got nothing but cash considerations and future draft picks for those future all-stars, and they just traded most of those future draft picks for cash again. All of this was done to save money, however harmful the consequences in the future. So when Nash got older Phoenix failed to supplement an aging roster through trades and free agency, instead making it worse to continue helping the finances. Trading Nash to LA was an obvious white flag, but instead of trying to rebuild for a new era Phoenix tried patching the team up to keep the arena semi-filled. Rather than buckle down and fix the problem, owner Robert Sarver numbs it just enough to secure decent attendance and flexible payroll.

It’s hard being a fan of an NBA team (not in Texas or Oklahoma) that isn’t in a major market city. If ownership and management aren’t committed to winning then your fandom is constantly tested. The playoff-rich teams continue to get richer, and the poor make themselves competitively poorer to get financially richer, if that makes any sense. However, Nash showed us 5 years ago that it can be attained even though he didn’t get us all the way there. We miss him here already, and I’m sure seeing him throw oops to Dwight & Kobe in a Laker jersey will be like seeing an ex-girlfriend on a date with some tool you’ve hated since 3rd grade. If you’re still a Phoenix Suns fans today, then you are a true fan & I thank you, and please don’t go into hiding.

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