We are finally over the half way mark and things continue to look good. Sure, we have incurred our share of “bumps and bruises” lately, but nothing that isn’t manageable.

Aaron “Scruffy” Nelson helps out Amaré Stoudemire during the Suns’ 17-game winning streak.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)

Personally, I made it through a couple of streaks, the first in which I wore the same sport coat for 10 consecutive wins (that can get a little funky) and the second in which I nearly scratched my face off by growing a beard that lasted 11 straight games and almost 3 weeks.

Of the 10 of us that decided not to shave until we lost, Steve Nash was the first to shave, followed quickly by Raja Bell and Pat Burke. That left Sean Marks, Boris Diaw, Jumaine Jones, Erik Phillips, Mike Elliott, Jay Gaspar, and me to carry out the original plans.

Unfortunately for the streak and fortunately for my face, the streak came to an end in Minnesota. The head athletic trainer for the Timberwolves, Gregg Farnam, is a really good friend of mine and decided to put three razors with the names Aaron, Mike, and Erik taped to each one, along with a can of shaving cream in our training room before the end of the game. In return, we all left our “whiskers” on the sink in the bathroom for him to clean up!

There are only three more games left before the All-Star Break. It is crazy to think that we can have 40+ wins heading into the break.

We play in Seattle on Wednesday and then the team is off to different locations to try to relax before the big “end of the season push.” I will be heading to Las Vegas as the third athletic trainer for the festivities.

The way it works for us is on a rotational basis for each conference (East and West). I am the third athletic trainer because Phoenix is the closest NBA city to Las Vegas. I have about five more years before I would represent the Western Conference as the athletic trainer unless the All-Star game comes to Phoenix before then — I would be the host athletic trainer.

I am really looking forward to the experience. This will be my first All-Star game and it will be with our coaching staff (well-deserved) and Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Steve (also well-deserved). It should be a lot of fun, but not much rest.

We come back on Sunday night after the game, only to turn around and leave again on Monday for L.A. to play the Clippers. We then come home for one game, then leave the next day for our last East Coast/Midwest trip (4 games/6 ½ days).

I will post another blog to fill everyone in on the All-Star events. It will then be time to gear up for the playoffs and a run toward the championship! Keep cheering!

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