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My Personal Hell: A Phoenix Suns Fan's Story

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The potent Phoenix Suns lineup that should have won multiple NBA Championships

The date is July 2nd, 2004 and it was announced that Dallas Mavericks free agent guard Steve Nash had agreed to a 5 year deal with the Phoenix Suns, an up and coming team loaded with youth and potential.

Later that year Steve Nash won his first of 2 NBA MVP’s and helped construct a unique up-tempo, high octane offensive system that would later be dubbed “7 seconds or less”.

The Suns made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to eventual NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. The series went to shambles faster than Phoenix may have anticipated with a severe injury to red hot shooting guard Joe Johnson.

Despite winning 2 MVPs, Steve Nash could not convince the Phoenix Suns to maintain a consistent talented lineup around the best Point Guard on the Planet.

But all was not lost in Phoenix. A team loaded with superstar talent such as Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson.

But 2005 would mark the first event of many to come in the world of the Phoenix Suns. Instead of standing firm in their stance to match any contract offer to scorer Joe Johnson the Suns let him walk to the Atlanta Hawks citing it was more important for them to maintain “team chemistry”.

The Suns would surprisingly counter-act the loss of Johnson with the trading for Boris Diaw (a part of the sign and trade deal with Atlanta for Johnson) and signing of defensive specialist Rajah Bell.


In the 2007-07 season Phoenix lost to the Spurs in the 2nd round in what many call the “David Stern Screwjob”. The Suns headed into 2008 feeling as though the window was closing.

So Phoenix did what Phoenix always does, makes dumb front office and personnel decisions.

In 2008 they sent a disgruntled Shawn Marion to Miami in a trade to bring a broken down, problematic, post player to Phoenix. Yes, Phoenix who for years was a few wins from a trip to the NBA Finals due to their up-tempo pace traded one of their best defensive and offensive threats….for a low post player.

This was the only thing worth noting that Shaquille O'Neal did during his time in Phoenix.

The experiment failed. It cost coach Mike D’Antoni his job and left the thinking in the Phoenix Front Office’s incapable hands. They hired Terry Porter to lead a more defensive minded, half court orientated Suns squad.

That didn’t last long. Nash became frustrated, Shaq was barely in shape and Amare Stoudemire suffered another horrific injury. Once again the Suns proved they could certainly out-dumb themselves.

Failure to sign any good free agents, failure to resign their stars and failure to give their fan base a consistent product on the floor. They failed to keep a strongly built team together.

Amare Stoudemire suffered long enough through Phoenix's mistakes and bolted for the Knicks the first chance he got

In 2010 the Suns had multiple trade offers for soon to be free agent Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire had made it clear he was going to test the market. Teams such as the Knicks were vocal they were willing to throw max dollars to get marquee players in New York. Despite all of this, the Suns scoffed at all trade request.

Packages that included the likes of Jeff Green, Andre Igoudala, Rudy Gay, Oj Mayo and more all denied. Instead of coming away with something for Stoudemire, the Suns took the high road of idiocy and was left with nothing.

Who can blame Stoudemire for leaving? A team that buffed free agent signings (Marcus Banks for example) failed to take care of their own superior talent (Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion) and a team who made moves that set the team back (Shaquille O’Neal trade).

On top of that the Suns could never draft. Their idiocy spread across all facets of basketball operations.

Below are some of the draft picks by the Suns that they either traded away for hunks of cash or just dumped to the curb.

2007 Rudy Fernandez
2006 Rajon Rondo
2005 Nate Robinson
2004 Luol Deng

Both Luol Deng (floor) and Rajon Rondo (green) were drafted by Phoenix. Both could have helped form the best team in the 2000s without anyone having to take their talents to South Beach

A team that could have been stacked and primed to keep winning championships. It would have looked like this:

Starters: Nash, Johnson, Deng, Marion, Stoudemire
Reserves: Rondo, Fernandez, Dudley, Bell, Lopez

It’s sickening to see a team implode such as Phoenix.They say hindsight is 20/20 which is true, but the Suns lack foresight.

Bottom line instead of Suns’ fans celebrating championship runs we are all left with a bitter taste in our mouths of “what could of been” and “what should have been”.

Special Thanks to Terry Porter, Steve Kerr, Robert Sarver, Shaquille O’Neal and any other Front Office idiots who operate the Phoenix Franchise

 

 

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Indiana Pacers

Clippers’ Paul George Booed by Pacers Fans

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Paul George

Los Angeles Clipper superstar Paul George wasn’t fazed by the relentless boos showered down on him during Monday’s game in Indianapolis against the Indiana Pacers, the team he spent several seasons with before requesting a trade in 2017, in fact, George teased a tell-all in which he will tell his side of the story that led to his trade request, hinting that he is set to take aim at many within the organization.

As far as the boos, George says the fans are booing the wrong people. George, who dropped 36 points in the victory, was booed every time he touched the ball, and was subjected to chants of “Paul George s—!” during the game, was playing back in Indiana for the third time since the trade.

“I’m not surprised,” George said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “That’s Indiana for you. It’s a Hoosier thing.”

“You know, someday I’ll do a tell-all and tell the leading events of how I left Indiana,” George said. “And I promise you, I’m not the one to boo.”

“… I’m not gonna share the teaser,” George continued. “… I like being the villain. I’m here two nights out of the year. The people they should boo is here a lot longer than I am.”

George was pressed by the media to divulge details, specifically about general manager Kevin Pritchard who said George’s trade request was like a punch to the gut.

“You’re getting close to trying to get this story out, aren’t you?” George asked. “… I’m not going to bad-mouth KP. That’s just Kevin’s side of the story.”

George has excelled in every game back in Indiana since the trade, and Monday’s game marked the third straight time he scored 31 points or more against his former team. However, judging from George’s post-game comments, he may be saving his best performance yet against the Pacers organization.

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Houston Rockets

Carmelo Anthony Warned Chris Paul About Houston Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony

Portland Trail Blazers’ forward Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul have both spent time with the Houston Rockets, and both had unceremonious exits from the organization.

But upon his exit from the Rockets after only 10 games, Anthony says that his experience prompted him to warn his close friend Paul to “be careful” with the Rockets organization, who ended up trading Paul a few days after general manager Daryl Morrey told Paul they weren’t going to trade him.

Anthony wasn’t shocked at how things played out for Paul in Houston.

“No, I wasn’t surprised at all,” Anthony said, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, ‘No.’ And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, ‘Look, just be careful.’ You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn’t happen to him.”

Paul was dealt to the Thunder over the summer in package that brought point guard Russell Westbrook to the Rockets.

“I was shocked,” Paul said, according to The Undefeated. “Truth be told, I just talked to Daryl a couple days before the trade, and he said he wasn’t going to trade me [to Oklahoma City]. That’s funny because that is going to be the alert that pops up on everybody’s phone because nobody knows that. But what the hell, I just said it.”

“I haven’t talked to nobody in their organization, no,” Anthony said. “I’m not angry. I’m not bitter at it. It happens. I wish I had an explanation when it happened, but I’m past it.”

Anthony also discussed a potential vibe around the league that the Rockets may not forthcoming, with the situations involving he and Paul as examples as to why some may be weary with the Rockets organization.

“Well, nobody has an answer, right?” Anthony said. “My situation and Chris’ situation is totally different, but nobody has an answer. Like, nobody really has an answer for my situation. Still. The only people that know is me. Me and them. That’s it. And I don’t even think they know. It’s just something that was already established before I even got there. It was on a trial-run basis. You look back at it, and 10 games is an evaluation. So that’s the business, right? You see New York have a press conference eight games in, 10 games. So that’s the new analytics. That’s the new game. Everything’s based off of your first 10 games. And once you know that, it gives you clarity on a lot of things.”

Anthony says that he did speak to Paul following Paul’s trade to the Thunder.

“No, he didn’t say I was right,” Anthony said. “He was in Vegas when all of that happened, so we was talking. And when I talked to him, he was like, ‘Man, look, I understand it. It’s messed up, but I understand it.’ And for me, I’m like, ‘Yo, it took me months to kind of, like, get past that.’ My pride was hit. My ego was hit. I had to really get past that. To a point where it was like, ‘Man, Chris, is you good?’ I wanted to make sure he was good. So he told me he was good, and that was that.”

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Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers’ LeBron James Praises Luke Walton

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Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar forward LeBron James is praising former Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton, who is now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, when the Kings came in to play the Lakers on Friday.

James says that with all the devastating injuries and the non-stop distractions of the constant trade rumors, Walton “did as great of a job as you could do under the circumstances”, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

Walton was the head coach during James’ first season with the Lakers in 2018-2019 and led the team to a 37-45 record, missing the playoffs.

“Throughout everything that was going on, we were two of the guys that just tried to remain positive and patient, even with the circumstances that we had,” James said during shootaround on Friday.

James reflected on the challenges of last season, pointing to key injuries as contributing factors to the disappointing season.

“I mean, we were right where we wanted to be on Dec. 25, went up into Golden State and played against a very good team and had a very good game,” James said. “And then the injury happened and I’m out 6½ weeks.

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted that, including myself and including Luke. And we were just behind the eight ball. But throughout it all we just tried to remain positive, even throughout with the young guys, with the older guys and whatever the case may be. So I think he did as great of a job as you could do under the circumstances.”

“Um, I agree with LeBron,” Walton said. “[There’s] a longer answer and I’ve spent time reflecting on last season, but for now, couple of hours before a game, it is more focused on tonight’s task and our game planning and rotations and things like that.”

Walton is now at the helm in Sacramento, but he talked about how special it is to return to Los Angeles, even on the opposing side.

“It’s always a special place for me to come into this building,” Walton said. “I have a lot of great memories in L.A. It’s a great opportunity playing here and coaching here.”

“LeBron, he’s one of the greatest players of all time if not the greatest,” Walton said. “So I’m sure last year getting hurt, not making the playoffs, I mean, he’s going right now. And this team kind of follows that lead. They’re playing incredibly well. Their defense and offense starts with him. He looks really good.”

 

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