I think most Suns fans will agree with me here when I say it's about goddamn time. While it's true that the 7 Seconds or Less Suns were never able to reach the top of the mountain and win an NBA title, in my opinion that's solely because David Stern boned them in that 2007 series against the Spurs when he suspended both Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for stepping onto the court after Robert Horry did this to Steve Nash
That Suns team was 61-21 and only lost that Game 5 by 4 points before ultimately losing the series in 6, so you could definitely make the case that if they had two of their best players available, they probably win that game considering it took place in Phoenix.
The point is, so much of what we see NBA teams do in 2023 can be traced back to how those Suns teams played. They led the NBA in 3PA (24) which is funny to look back on considering the Bulls just came in 30th this year in 3PA and they take 28.9 a game. But at the time? Shooting that many threes and playing at a fast as hell pace weren't exactly the norm. The only team I can think that came close to what we saw during that era of Suns basketball was maybe the early 80s Nuggets with Dan Issel.
What made those Suns teams so unique was how versatile they were. Shawn Marion was way ahead of his time as an undersized/versatile wing/big who could play basically 3-5. When Amar'e was healthy and making All Star teams from 2004-2010, he often looked like the best big man in the league. This high flying pick and roll monster who seemed to get better once the postseason rolled around. Did you know from 2005-10 (46 games) Stoudemire was a 25.5/9.4 guy on 52% shooting? His chemistry with Nash made them devastating
After all those years of Robert Sarver being petty and holding a grudge when it came to Marion and Stoudemire, it's good to see their new owner Mat Ishbia continues to help fans forget all about those dark days.
- Say fuck the future and make massive trades for elite talent to win now? Check
- Making it possible for millions of households in Arizona to be able to watch the Suns for free and not have to worry about blackouts? Check
- Get in a tussle with Jokic during a playoff game trying to his give team an advantage? Check
- Honor Suns legends? Check
You could make the case that Ishbia has done more for the Suns since he took over than Sarver did during his entire 18 year tenure. It's not that hard in my opinion, all he has to do is basically the opposite of what Sarver would do and instantly he becomes a hero to Suns fans. Spend money? Release awesome alternate jerseys? Honor the greats? Sarver refused to do any of that shit and it's why Suns fans hated the guy.
To me, this is such an easy PR move by the team. In a year where you are basically in a title or bust season, you want the vibes to be as strong as possible. You want buzz. You want excitement. That's precisely what this move helps create. Of course, everything is ultimately going to come down to whether or not the Suns can actually pull it off or if they're just going to be another early round playoff exit, but it's hard to argue they aren't off to a great start. They have a new championship proven coach, they have legit title-contending talent, and now they get to play the vibes card. Exercising those previous demons when it came to Stoudamire/Marion can only help. For all we know that was the final thing holding the Suns back from winning their first ever title.
Now let's just fast forward to October already. I'm ready for some actual basketball.