I’m bored. The offseason is very, very off. Yes I’ve been interested in and paying attention to all of the recent Suns drama, and sure I’ve been looking forward to some of the summer league action. But I’m still bored with nothing to watch except golf - and I really detest golf. I feel like a little kid on a road trip killing my parents with, “Are we there yet?” only an hour or so into the trek. It is such a long road to October, and goodness do I hate those kind of kids. So instead of whining about my impatience and boredom, perhaps I’ll take a moment to reminisce on a brighter time. This is the Bright Side of the Sun, after all.
Back in the day (or prior to 2005), I used to hate the sound of a bell tower. Neither Metallica nor ACDC could shake the image of a ghostly cemetery or a cheesy wedding (both equally terrifying) from my mind after hearing the ethereal toll. Then suddenly there was this man with a name straight out of Aladdin (aww) controlling the floor and the toll quickly became music to my ears. Raja Bell stole my heart and even dunked it a few times. And then he was traded. It was like having my grade school crush move across country all over again. I had a huge crush on Bell’s skills.
Before his first game, I asked my friend Erik to tell me a bit about Bell so I could comment on something other than his good looks. He didn’t know much at the time, but I learned that Bell was coming to us from the Utah Jazz and was a former Mavericks man happy to be back with Steve Nash again. I figured anyone who was a friend of Nash should be a friend of ours. Sure enough, as soon as he stepped on the floor, Bell blended beautifully with the Suns. He started in all 79 games he played in the 2005-06 season, and finished averaging 14.7 points per game – nevermind the career high 44.2% of his 3-point field goal attempts in the process. And then there was the clothesline incident (sweet justice) in the 2006 playoffs. I thought about that series over and over this year and just wished someone would have the ovals to…well, nevermind.
Remember when he kicked that one guy in 2007? That was funny. Bell finished the 2006-07 season with 205 total 3-point shots made and miles of smiles from his fans in the valley. I bought a #19 jersey that year (and wore it only once before accidentally leaving it in my hometown after vacationing never to be seen again - - - premonition style).
When news came of the trade in December 2008, I was really sad. Straight up depressed. Not only was Bell going, but Diaw was going with him. His season didn’t start well, but I’ve gotten used to that scenario with many a Suns player and I remained optimistic as usual. I totally blamed Terry Porter for it - just messing with Bell in ways I don’t think were obvious to the fans at first (crybaby, anyone?). I truly do not believe Bell would have the same start-up difficulty with Gentry. They’d probably be pals, fist-bumping and all that nonsense. Even though we got really lucky with Richardson and Dudley after the trade (love them), I can’t help but feel like Bell should come back to the Suns. I’m sure there are plenty of Phoenix fans (in fact, I am certain) that will disagree with me on this, but it’s just a fanpost. Some will say his defense was overrated. Some might say he wasn’t athletic enough. Some would even try to say he lacked depth as a player (because he didn’t fight hard enough to be one in the first place - pff). I say okay, fine, whatever to all those things and continue to assert his potentially awesome contribution to a scary, maybe new Suns team.
But to be completely honest, I didn’t follow much of Bell’s latter accomplishments with the Bobcats. Bell as a Bobcat, Bell the Bobcat, Bobcat Bell…there was just too much to focus on right here with our new (and later improved) team for me to crane my neck in his direction. When I heard he was traded to the Warriors in November 2009, I just felt bad for him. Then he got that wrist booboo and sort of ducked away. I tried to find some good news on his status today, but there isn’t much. I read a short article about Bell saying he was thinking about (or wishing he could go to) Miami, and a few blogs by Warriors fans complaining about his injury which should be fully healed before it’s even close to the time to start griping anyway…that’s about it. Doesn't matter. I still miss him and would like to see him make a comeback with the Suns.
I’m interested in your thoughts, so please think aloud by leaving a comment if you please.