It’s not uncommon for someone turning 45 to experience what many refer to as a midlife crisis. They try to find a way to get more hair, acquire fast things and get into relationships with younger, more exciting people. It’s all in an attempt to regain what made them successful in their youth. It not just something balding middle aged men do. Sometimes basketball teams do it too.
The upcoming season will mark the 45th for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA. While their offseason most certainly has been anything but a ‘crisis’, they are undergoing a bigger midlife makeover than John Travolta (see: Saturday Night Fever compared to Hairspray).
In a matter of a week, the franchise transformed itself from one of the eldest in the league to one with youth and promise. They got the hair (Luis Scola), the fast things (Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall) and the relationship with the young and exciting person (Michael Beasley) that many middle age people long for.
In most cases a midlife change is an act of desperation. It is a hurried reaction that is less thought out than the plot of an Adam Sandler movie and costs almost as much money. It’s the kind of decisions that the person later comes to regret. That is not the case for the Suns.
In an age where spending runs rampant and front offices regret many signings more than Thomas Jane regrets turning down the role of Don Draper in Mad Men, the Suns’ brass found a way to avoid those pitfalls. They rebuilt the roster with quality young talent while maintaining a cap with enough flexibility that it could be a yoga instructor.
Dragic’s return gives the roster a young, fast and energetic floor general who has proven he can run Alvin Gentry’s offense effectively. Almost as important, the move brings a fan favorite back to the Valley who is great in the community. Scola provides the team with veteran leadership along with scoring, rebounding and flowing locks that look like they should be on the cover of a romance novel. For Beasley, potential is the word. There are very few athletic specimens as impressive as the Kansas State product in the NBA. If he can finally put it all together as a Sun, the team will have the go-to scorer they lacked. Last but not least is the rookie from North Carolina. Marshall has the maturity to make an impact on and off the court for his new team. Not to mention his college coach, the great Roy Williams, called him the best pure passer he’s ever coached.
When you combine the new acquisitions with the core of Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye and Markieff Morris, the future is looking much brighter than Emma Stone’s platinum blonde hair in The Amazing Spiderman and almost as attractive.
What once looked like an aging team in the midst of a midlife downturn now looks like a franchise on the rise. Too bad the same can’t be said for most 45-year-olds searching for a dramatic change.