Shannon Brown #26 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 9, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photographer: Getty Images
Copyright Getty Images
We’re thinking the state of our local NBA franchise is best capsulized by the following sentence in a Suns press release issued last month: “This year’s winner will be recognized with a congratulatory video from (Dan) Majerle.”
That’s right, it’s not just fans who aren’t showing up. Even the Suns Ring of Honor member who, according to the release, personified “hustle and determination,” didn’t make it to the arena this season, despite still living in the Valley.
Of course, earlier this season, then Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle was unceremoniously passed over for an unqualified head coaching candidate.
And the Suns wonder why fans have lost confidence? Why longtime fans are bewildered and exasperated. Or, worst of all, showing signs of acute apathy.
On a national level, the Suns are being portrayed as “dysfunctional” and labeled as “cheap.” Let’s just say, according to NBA insiders that I’ve spoken with throughout this season, the Suns are no longer considered a destination spot for free agents.
On Monday afternoon, the Suns fired general manager Lance Blanks with a year left on his contract. In short, recent draft picks have not delivered (Markieff Morris, Kendall Marshall) and free agent signings have proved underwhelming, to be kind (Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson).
Based on the Twitter reaction that I’ve received, Suns fans are treating Blanks’ departure as if it’s the biggest victory of the season. And guess what? Considering that the Suns just languished through the worst season in franchise history (you can’t count the expansion year), well, fans are well within their rights to celebrate.
Speaking of, the Suns would be well served to revolve the next hire around their paying customers. As in, reward the suffering fan base (three straight years without a playoff berth) with a proven general manager. A personnel executive who has been there, built that.
Once again, it’s Planet Orange Cones. A construction zone. And if the Suns want to hold auditions? Uh, let’s save those for the Dancing Dads.
Current ownership will be on its fourth GM hire (not counting the short stints by Mike Dantoni and Robert Sarver himself). We know it’s three strikes and yer’ out in baseball. What about hoops?
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