I'm not talking about the Suns part. It seems like this franchise has always embodied the Phoenix more than some burning ball of gas; and what's most depressing about this offseason is that it is so a-typical of this franchise. Let me explain:
The Birth - Obviously we weren't a great franchise immediately out of the gate, due to some coin flip or something (I'm so tired of hearing about this from my father). But we reached that first Finals in 76, played in the greatest NBA game every played, and were legit. This starts the Sun's Phoenix trend, where a good team reaches a peak, blazes brightly and then eventually gets destroyed - this time in the infamous drug busts of the 80s. This of course leads to our first . .
Re-Birth- After the drug scandal, our good team gets dies as the peices get torn apart. Walter Davis' cap space turns into Tom Chambers, Larry Nance turns into KJ, Thunder Dan and Mark West, and eventually the only player to survive the drug purge (Hornacek) turns into Charles Barkely. We rise from the ashes to glorious heights, and then, of course, flame out like a Phoenix. We then proceed to repeat the cycle in much quicker bursts. The teams dies with Barkely being shipped to Rockets for the infamous pu pu platter, netting us Horry, Cassel and a pile of steaming dog crap. However, we turn Nash into Marion, Horry into Ceballos into Ceballos and Finley for Jason Kidd
The Renaissance of Almost Awesomeness - We bring in Kidd, Sign Penny (people forget how AMAZING he was his one healthy year here. He destroyed the Spurs in the playoffs. Man I feel bad for him.) Draft Marion. Win 50 games like 5 years in a row, but when your best players are Kidd and Marion you know you're going to choke in the playoffs, so we blow it up again. and get
The Aborted Renaissance - We tried to pull off another re-birth by acquiring Marbury (who I'm ashamed to admit I used to love), but if failed. However, we pulled it off successfully a few years
The Infamous SSOL Renaissance - The perfect example of how stockpiling young talent (JJ, who we got for rodney rogers and tony freaking delk, Marion and Amare), and swinging for the fences in free agency (remember how everyone though we were going after Kobe that year, and we signed Nash like two days in?) can pull a team around. I cannot remind you all enough how depressing that Marbury-Tsakalidis team was. Man. But we made a strong decision and went for it.
THAT'S what's most depressing about this offseason - nothing. What I love about this franchise is that it's always doing something - whether it's adding parts (be it Walter D, The Chuckster, Penny, Hill) or just blowing it all to hell, there is never limbo for long. We've basically been in that state for a year now (The Porter hiring was the ultimate "what the hell are we going to do here, let's just tread water" move) and it's bizarre to me. And don't say it's all because the Colangelo's left - don't forget Jerry didn't own the 76 Finals team, and he ran the chuckster our of town in a horrible trade that barely got salvaged down the road. And it's not Bryan - he just massively overpayed a 31 year old, chubby turkish small forward.
This may be blasphemous, but I think that SSOL team in some ways ruined the franchise. I don't remember any suns team being as fanatically followed as that one; my father kinda talks about the 76 "Sunderella" team like that, but the 80s weren't like that, the Kidd teams weren't like that, and the hoopla in 93 was largely all around Barkely. I think everyone loved that team so much (maybe too much for how few rings they brought home) that we, as fans, got way too demanding, and that has hamstrung the team.
Now Kerr is mortified to be the guy who let Nash get away(even if it's his time), got his balls cut off for pulling off the kinda of gutsy trade (if misguided) that has defined the suns,may be trying to get too much in return for Amare to salvage his legacy, and tried to fix the suns much-maligned lack of young talent by swinging for the fences with a talented but crazy rookie.
We need to do something. If we're contending, add Chandler and make a run for it. If' were going for 2010, extend Nash at a reasonable amount (next to the winter weather, the chance of playing with him is the best lure we have) and trade Amare. If we are straight up rebuilding, trade Nash, try to keep Amare at below the maximum, and don't re-take Hill or Barnes.
I know it's easy to play arm-chair GM, but all I want is for the team to do something. And I think, as fans, it might be time to shove a sock in all the whining and let the team make a move. If you are bailing on the team because we blew up SSOL or less, and kicked D'Antoni out, and blah blah blah bullcrap, you're probably the same fans who bailed when Barkely left, and it's time to say: Good riddance. Get the hell of the bandwagon. I'm a Phoenix fan, dammit; this team has gone through so many changes, it's part of our identity. We are on of the best franchises in the NBA, maybe in sports; and I am excited for the future.
If it ever gets here.