Three Rocky Mountain Emmy Award-nominated Suns.com TV productions culminated in a win in the category of Advanced Media (read: Internet), Sports, last Saturday night at the awards show.

Koek flashes the Emmy hardware in front of the Suns.com Newsroom.
(Josh Greene/Suns Photos)

While I personally received a statue, the bigger significance is that we at Suns.com can now add “Emmy Award-winning website” to our impressive portfolio of awards and recognitions as one of the top team sites in all of sports.

The video that won was the one I shot and edited of Raja Bell’s�reunion with his teammates at LAX after the suspended Suns’ guard watched from a local bar as the Suns won Game 6 of their opening round series with the Lakers in the 2006 playoffs. Bell, suspended for “clothes-lining” Lakers star Kobe Bryant in Game 5 at US Airways Center, returned for the Game 7 series clincher and the Suns wound up advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

I was actually in Tucson producing the live webcast of the Suns’ public scrimmage at McKale Center when the awards show took place Saturday back in Phoenix. While there were no acceptance speeches for the winners, I had prepared one anyway, so here goes.

  • First, I’d like to thank Kobe Bryant. Had Kobe not been the kind of player who would precipitate being thrown to the court by Raja Bell in the middle of a playoff game, I might never have received this award. Thanks, Kobe.

 

  • I also have to thank Raja for not only being the kind of player that would actually throw down an opponent in the middle of a playoff game, but also for being the kind of player who would allow me to record the big reunion with his teammates, then grant me an interview on the charter flight back to Phoenix, and finally acknowledge the fans who waited hours at US Airways Center upon the team’s return late into the night. “Raja’s back!”

 

  • I would be remiss not to include a bit of thanks to the NBA for suspending Bell for Game 6. I think they got this one right and remember at the time being relieved it was only for one game. More importantly, had the league not taken action, there would have been no reunion to film and no video to submit for nomination. There will be no thanks for this past playoff’s suspension decisions forthcoming.

 

  • Thanks as well to Mike D’Antoni and the Suns for pulling off that huge win at the STAPLES Center. Not only did they provide us all with some of the most exciting playoff action this side of 1993, but had they not come away with a win in Game 6, the award-winning video sequence would have never been shot.

 

  • Thank you to former Suns media relations manager Dustin “Meat” Krugel, who sat next to me on the bus ride from the arena to the airport and encouraged me to hustle off the bus and tape Raja meeting up with the guys. I believe his exact words to me were, “You gotta get that.” Thanks and good luck in Memphis, Meat.

 

  • I’d like also to thank Suns’ VP, Interactive Services (and my boss) Jeramie McPeek for his constant encouragement and creative freedom to produce content on the fly, and often on my own. He also accepted the award for me on Saturday night, even though I technically beat him out of getting one himself. Thanks, Boss. Kudos also to the rest of the Suns.com staff: Josh Greene, who makes a cameo in the video interviewing Bell in Phoenix, Brad G. Faye, and our newest additions of Dan Banks, Dan Hilton and Stefan Swiat.

 

  • Thanks in general go out to the Suns’ organization for seeing value in what we do on the website. Throughout the league, other teams’ web geeks (as Laurel D’Antoni is fond of calling us) are jealous of the access we are given and the contact we allowed with the players. Besides the occasional inappropriate word here and there (most often occurring during big celebrations) or particularly private player meetings, there is very little we are not allowed to shoot and post on Suns.com.

 

  • Finally, thanks to Teresa, my girlfriend and biggest supporter over the last nine years. With or without this job, and the rewards and awards that come with it, being with her is the biggest award I could win. Thanks for being there, Babe.

�(Music fades in, mic cuts out…)

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