When I think back to the 1995 All Star Weeked — the last time it was held in Phoenix — I am haunted by one of the worst shots I ever took in my career. I participated in the 3 point contest that year, and on the first rack from the corner, I shot a ball off the side of the backboard. I heard the crowd gasp — or maybe laugh, I can’t remember — but I never recovered and failed to advance past the first round. If my memory is correct, Glenn Rice went onto beat Reggie Miller in the finals.
The NBA Championship is not won with just one win.
I knew what I wanted to talk about before the game even started this evening. If the Suns had lost, my first sentence would have been “The sky is not falling with just one loss.” Coach Porter, the Suns front office and the players have all said that this team is a work in progress. The Spurs were missing Manu Ginobili in this game. And now that Coach Porter’s new schemes are out “in the wild,” opponents will find ways to stop the team’s set plays. [Read more...]
After missing all of training camp and the Phoenix Suns’ first three pre-season games, Leandro Barbosa is back from Brazil. Barbosa was with the team on Media Day and then left the team to fly to Brazil so he could tend to his sick mother.
Many of the players didn’t realize LB would be back at practice this morning. The flight from Brazil to Phoenix is 13 hours and he didn’t get in until 10:00am this morning. He left the airport and came right to practice. When someone asked him about the flight, he only said, “It’s a long flight.” [Read more...]
In the wake of the coaching merry-go-round that spun Coach Mike off to New York, both General Manager Steve Kerr and Coach Terry Porter vowed these Suns would be different. And one of the few things we could get out of last night’s game was that that promise is being kept.
These Suns are indeed “different”. [Read more...]
The Suns had an all-employee meeting this morning in the Casino Arizona Pavilion at US Airways Center. It’s something they usually do a few weeks before the season starts. With employees spread out through the entire arena, it’s hard to fathom how many people actually work for the team. But when we are all there together, you realize how many people it takes to keep an arena, 3 teams and many other events going on a daily basis.
Team President, Rick Welts, usually speaks to the employees and lets them know how the business is going, what the goals for the upcoming season are, etc. That still happened and it was great to hear his vision of the next year. After Welts spoke, we had several other people talk about the upcoming season including the All-Star Game that is coming to Phoenix in February 2009. We had some discussion of what that would bring to Phoenix and to US Airways Center. Then because of all of the changes that happened in the off-season, we also had some special guests. [Read more...]
It’s 4:30pm in Tucson and I’m sitting at the very top of the McKale Center, listening to Steve Koek and Adam Beechen start the annual podcast of the Phoenix Suns scrimmage. As I mentioned in a previous blog, this is my second time at the scrimmage and it’s really different this time. At the first scrimmage, I had the privilege of driving Al McCoy to the arena. I was surprised at how easy it was to get in when I was tagging along with Al. No one questioned me at all. I just followed Al and everything was ok.
This time was a little different. With the scrimmage starting at 5:00, we had to leave for the arena mid-afternoon to get here on time and make sure we got everything set up. Unfortunately, Suns.com’s Daniel Banks and I didn’t follow the example of our fearless leader, Jeramie McPeek, and we left a half hour later than he did. That put us right in the middle of early Friday rush hour traffic in Tucson. Not a good time.
After dropping Banks off at the arena to get started on setting everything up (and almost hitting Suns owner Robert Sarver with my car in my hurry to get to the parking garage – sorry, Mr. Sarver!), I found parking and was able to get inside. I was nervous that it wouldn’t be so easy to get in this time without Al as my escort. But the arena staff was very accommodating and helped me get in and find where I needed to be. [Read more...]
Well, sports bloggers, that’s who!
So, without further ado, the seeds envelope please.
Well, okay, a little more ado. A year ago at this time the word to the wise for the excited citizenry of Planet Orange was, “Calm down.” This year it’s “Cheer up.” [Read more...]
In a surreal matinee affair, a Igor Kokoskov-coached Phoenix squad took on a Phil Weber-led New York team that saw the Suns come up short in an 85-80 defeat.
So while former Suns assistant coach Weber and former Suns assistant Dan D’Antoni exchanged pleasantries with Suns assistants Dan Majerle and Kokoscov before the game, the game proved to be a battle. The contest was tight all along, heading all the way into the final seconds before the victor was decided.
Guard DJ Strawberry had an opportunity to tie the game with less than 10 seconds remaining, but his 3-point attempt was blocked by Knicks guard Mardy Collins. New York grabbed the loose ball before icing the game on two free throws by Wilson Chandler. The Knicks’ swingman finished the contest with 31 points.
However, the bright side of the story for the Suns was the play of “Big Three.” [Read more...]
First of all, we are thrilled with what transpired yesterday in the draft. Everything turned out exactly as we’d hoped. After contemplating various scenarios in which we might have added a pick or moved up in the first round, we felt strongly that we were best off keeping our team intact and simply adding our first and second round choices. We felt that if things played out for us, we might be able to add two players who could help us accomplish our goal going into yesterday: to find players who can help us sustain our recent success, but who can also be building blocks for the future. Only time will tell, of course, but we’re confident we have two new players who will help us make a successful transition to a new era.
Robin Lopez is someone who will help us right away. It’s rare to find an active 7 footer who can run and defend, so we felt fortunate that he fell to us at 15. Robin will provide something we don’t have – a versatile big guy who can get out on the perimeter to defend screen and rolls, but who also has the size and mentality to protect the rim. He’s still raw offensively, but he has a decent touch on a 15 foot jump shot and he is very good at keeping balls alive and scoring on offensive rebounds. Robin will complement Shaq and Amare nicely because he plays away from the ball, preferring to do a lot of dirty work. Terry Porter expects him to contribute right away, so our depth will be greatly enhanced. Robin told us a month ago when we worked him out that he was dying to come to Phoenix, so he got his wish – as did we. This is going to be a great fit. [Read more...]
ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons interviewed Phoenix Suns GM, Steve Kerr, on his aptly named podcast, “The BS Report,” this week.
I know I said this about Amare Stoudemire and Mike D’Antoni in my rundown of the Suns.com Newsroom Grand Opening earlier this month, but Steve Kerr is a great interviewee. He has the best stories to share.
And Simmons is a pretty good interviewer, too. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that he asks the questions fans want to ask. That’s why I found this podcast so interesting. If you go to any Suns fan blog or discussion board, a lot of the questions people are bringing up these days are brought up by Simmons in this interview.
Run-down of topics they discuss:
- How Kerr found out that Larry Bird was going to retire
- Kerr’s moving from announcing at TNT to the GM of the Suns
- Why the Suns traded Kurt Thomas
- Steve’s thoughts on the luxury tax
- Are NBA general managers getting smarter?
- How the Suns justified giving up two first-round picks in the Thomas trade
- How getting rid of the hand-checking rules helped the Suns
- Discussion of why Kerr should have been the MVP of the 1997 NBA Finals
- What it was like to play with Michael Jordan
- How the chemistry is between players on the Suns team
- What Kerr learned when he played with the 2002 Trail Blazers
- The difference between Jordan and Tim Duncan
- The FIBA Americas games in Las Vegas
- KG moving to the Celtics (you didn’t think Simmons would go the whole podcast without mentioning his beloved Celtics, did you?)
- The 202007 playoffs and whether the Suns are still in angst over what happened
- Why Boris Diaw is the sleeper pick in Fantasy Basketball this year
This is a good listen and it really gives you some insight you may not have had before in not only the Suns, but also into the type of person Kerr is and maybe even what type of a GM he’ll be. He has been on championship teams wherever he has gone in his career so I have high hopes for the 202007-08 team. What are your thoughts on the podcast?