Updated Jan 23, 2013 - 8:28 am
The Suns have left me truly disheartened
The Suns are like the restaurant I used to eat at every Friday night. I go back now and the food isn't very good, the building is all run down, and the health code violations are stacking up. I don't want to eat there anymore.
I admire the passion, and frankly, the anger displayed by my friend and colleague Jude LaCava regarding the Suns.
I can relate.
As an Arizona native, I treat the Suns differently than the other teams in town. The highs are higher. The lows, lower. In some regards I suppose they're like a child born with the burden of enormous expectations; I expect more out of the Suns and when they fail to live up to those expectations, the disappointment cuts deep.
Suns fans are justified in letting their angst flag fly like LaCava, though judging by the sagging attendance the last few years I wonder how many of you are left to be angry. To me it's not anger and certainly sad isn't the right word either. It's disheartening. Pathetically disheartening.
Disheartening to see what has become of the organization with the fourth-best winning percentage in the history of the NBA.
I figured a tree with roots that deep would always last. I figured wrong.
The Suns are like a car that has caught fire on the side of the freeway. What would our traffic reporter call it? A Car-B-Que? How can you not slow down to take a look?
- Alvin Gentry, clearly not part of the problem, yet fired anyway.
- A two-day "search" for his replacement, because, you know, it's standard operating procedure to fire a guy then not have the first clue as to who is replacing him.
-Lindsey Hunter hired despite no coaching experience whatsoever.
-Dan Majerle, local legend, assistant coach and restaurateur, out the door.
- Elston Turner, who owns no restaurants (to the best of my knowledge) but who has been an assistant coach in this league for nearly 16 seasons, perhaps right behind Majerle.
- Gentry, when asked Tuesday if he was ever comfortable with Hunter's presence said after a considerable pause, "Uhhh…I don't think it's important to answer that."
- An "expletive-laced" shouting match between GM Lance Blanks and Jermaine O'Neal.
- An FBI investigation of Hunter, that either is or is not ongoing, depending on whom you ask.
If you were to look at just one of these angles, it wouldn't be a big deal. But you add it all up and…oh yeah, you can see the smoke from miles away and the traffic is all jammed up.
The Suns are Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, the smoke monster, the Dharma Initiative and the island all rolled into one. They are Lost.
I don't need a reason to wish the Lakers ill. I enjoy it. But the fact that the Suns get their draft pick if they're in the lottery adds a little more spice to the stew.
It's too bad the Suns front office is sucking all the joy out of Laker-hating. After watching how poorly this has all been mismanaged, it's hard to trust Lon, Lance or Robert with that pick.
Or their pick.
I have always been on board with the plan; the one that says being really bad is good; the only way to fix this.
But being bad satisfies only half the equation. Believing that the decision-makers will make the right call is the other. The NBA Draft and free agency are enough of a crapshoot as it is. The navigation of those waters without a captain you trust has me reaching for the nearest flotation device.
Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo