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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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Carrie W

    June 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Damn! When you lay it all out there like that, it really does suck! I knew the Suns weren’t the smartest team when it came to trades, but looking back at what they could have had, how are they not kicking themselves?! The Suns could have been the new dynasty! Lakers who? It kind of sucks that fans don’t get a say in any of the decisions. When the management is completely destroying a team it would be nice to play the “Fan” trump card. We are the ones who pay to see them play, right?!

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Kings, NBA Announce Start of Joint Investigation into Allegations Against Luke Walton

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The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced that they have started a join investigation into the allegations of sexual assault made by
Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, in a civil suit filed against new head coach Luke Walton from alleged incidents back in 2014.

“The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” the team and league said in a statement.

The Kings’ investigation will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Jennifer Doughty, a senior associate attorney at the firm, while the league’s investigation will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the league’s senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations.

Tennant held a news conference earlier this week to comment on the allegations to which Walton’s attorney responded by calling the allegations “baseless” and calling Tennat “an opportunist”.

Walton became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings immediately following his dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month.

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Former NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case, Faces 15 Years in Prison

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Former NBA player and once highly touted young prospect Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm and could face up to 15 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

Telfair, 33, was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York after cops found several weapons in his possession during a traffic stop.

Telfair, a high school phenom, played for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, among others, throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA, but many believe that he never reached his full potential.

Telfair plead not guilty and tried to fight back the charges, but a jury found him guilty on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Telfair, who could face up to 15 years in prison, is scheduled back in court in June for sentencing.

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Golden State Warriors

Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.

According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;

“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. 

“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.

Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.

Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.

Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states. 

Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”

The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.

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