'Tis the Season for the Suns to Give Back


If you’ve followed the Suns outside of nightly box scores for any given amount of time, you should already be well-versed in the franchise’s commitment to the community, regardless of the time of year.

Still, when those good tidings coincide with the holiday season, it seemingly does make them that much more special.

Case in point, the franchise is spreading its own dose of holiday cheer this week with a pair of community appearances in the Valley. [Read more...]

Going to Mexico to Go Irish

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After a late Friday night via international charter, the Suns and 76ers tipped off their first day in Mexico with a different kind of exhibition at Monterrey’s Irish Institute. [Read more...]

My45 Good for Two New TV Specials

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If serious basketball withdrawals are starting to get to you, check out My45 this Tuesday night for a Suns doubleheader, starting at 9 p.m.

First up is the “Suns’ Sizzling Summer Special.” Host Tom Leander sits down with team President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr to discuss the “State of the Suns,” including the re-signing of Steve Nash and Grant Hill, the acquisition of free agent Channing Frye, the return of Head Coach Alvin Gentry and the drafting of Earl Clark and Taylor Griffin. Also featured, Eddie Johnson talks to All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire about coming back from a devastating eye injury and returning as the focal point in the Suns offense. Second-year man Goran Dragic walks us through the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. And then, EJ and Tom preview this year’s Suns squad and discuss all of the big changes around the NBA. 

Next up is the “Making of the Suns Dancers” at 9:30 p.m., chronicling the hectic week endured by the dancer hopefuls. It includes a behind-the-scenes look at the two-day dancer auditions, the lengthy selection process and four off-the-court finalist profiles.

If you miss Tuesday’s telecasts (or just love watching repeats), the specials will re-air on Fox Sports Arizona in HD starting this Friday at 5 p.m.

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

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...]

Pre-season is Over; Now for the Real Test

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

So, the mercifully short pre-season preparation for the regular season is over, and the interminably long regular season preparation for the post-season will officially get underway in San Antonio this Wednesday.

And frankly, I can hardly wait. For the post-season, I mean. I say this because we won’t know for sure until then whether Year One of going back to thinking INSIDE the box after four years of exhilarating – albeit ultimately somewhat unfulfilling – thinking outside the box, will work or not. [Read more...]

First game gives both questions and answers

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...]

Gearing up for the season

Barry Gossage / NBAE Photos

Barry Gossage / NBAE Photos

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...]

Suns vs Suns: 2008 Edition

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...]

Welcome to Suns 101. Now take your seats…

School was in session Tuesday at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Admittedly, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. It is a college, after all.

But the only classroom the Suns were concerned with was situated on the McKale Center hardwood, where the team officially tipped off training camp.

With their first test slated for their season opener in San Antonio on October 29, that gives Phoenix just under a month to gear up for the new NBA year.

That’s not to say the Suns need a ton of instruction (remember, they have had some level of success over the last few years), but they do need to be brought up to speed on the Terry Porter way. While a lot of preseason pundits have predicted a new focus on defense this upcoming season, consider this. After the team’s initial “1-2-3 Suns” chant to break practice Tuesday, the new Suns head coach prompted a verbal addendum, “1-2-3 Defense.” [Read more...]

A Camping Veteran

Media Day 2008 is in the books and Training Camp is officially underway.

This year’s Media Day on the practice court felt a lot different than last season’s as a rookie. I was more relaxed and more comfortable because I knew what to expect. I still came in with a lot of energy and because I’m so much more accustomed to speaking with the media, I was able to relax a little bit more. Best of all, I wasn’t the butt of all the vets’ jokes like I was last season. This year I was even able to joke around with some of the young guys myself.

Speaking of, this year’s crop of Suns rookies have been asking me a lot of questions. I understand where they’re coming from. It’s tough coming into this league not knowing what to anticipate. I remember last year at Media Day kind of feeling in awe of everything, a bit in shock that I was attending my first NBA function. So I’ve been giving as much advice to the guys as I can, both good and bad. I’ve probably scared them a little bit more than anything else though. [Read more...]