FanPost

Similarities between the early 2000s Kings and the late 2000s Suns


This is my first FanPost here so I'll try to make it coherent and interesting.

It has come to my attention that there are a lot of similarities between the late '90s to early 2000s Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns from about 2004-present. Here are some key obvious facts:

-Both had a highly talented big man which later were slowed down by a knee injury (Chris Webber/Amare Stoudemire)

-Both traded for consistent and talented point guards (Mike Bibby/Steve Nash)

-Both teams had won at least two division titles in a row (Kings 2002-2003; Suns 2005-2007)

-Both had the league's best record at one point and lost in the WCF in the same respective year.

  


After Charles Barkley left the Suns, they were nothing too special. We all know the lackluster Penny Hardaway, Stephon Marbury, and Jason Kidd years were not easy to bear. The drafting of Amare Stoudemire added a flashy and young big man line-up of the Backcourt 2000 and Suns draftee Shawn Marion, and the team seemed to make its way back up to the top. However, the combo of Marbury/Hardaway never reached the success that the Suns executives and fans had hoped for and traded them away to New York. Then 2004 rolled around with the return of Steve Nash to Phoenix. Add him to the existing line-up of Shawn Marion and the surprising surge from Joe Johnson, the Suns had a core that were on the rise led by Coach Mike D'Antoni's 7SOL mindset to reach the top of the NBA standings.

Now back to the Kings, who had a similar situation. Prior to the addition of Chris Webber, they were a below average team. After drafting Jason Williams at the point guard, things started slowly turning around for the team. However, he was traded to the Grizzlies for a more consistent Mike Bibby. The starting five consisted of Webber, Bibby, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, Doug Christie and legendary coach Rick Adelman. The Kings found their winning formula and were on their way to consecutive Pacific Division titles.

The Kings and Suns successes were not without their failures and setbacks. Each had their successes only to be cut short by none other than the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks. The 2002-2003 marked a turning point for the Kings where their core line-up was shaken up, which is similar to this year's line-up rosterbation leaving the Suns scrambling to find a consistent core. Injuries to Chris Webber and Amare Stoudemire devasted the team causing them to search for different ways to win. Robert Horry crushed both teamss hearts with clutch shots and shoves. Divac left to go to the Lakers, resulting of the signing of Brad Miller. Joe Johnson got hurt his face in a freak accident in the playoffs then wanted to be a star on his own and was traded to Atlanta for Boris Diaw. Core players came and went, and both teams slowly were becoming less consistent even though they continued to be exciting and somewhat victorious.

At the end of the Kings' run, the injury-prone Webber was traded to Philadelphia. Fan favorite supporting players were traded away, and it looked that it was the beginning of a rebuilding transition. Mike Bibby stayed on even as the team struggled to hover around .500 til now that they are among the last in their division. Mike Bibby was then traded as the Kings looked to re-tool its roster with young and exciting players. They are still in the process of recovering and rebuilding.

At the end of the Suns' run, we all know the summer of 2010 ended with Amare choosing to leave Phoenix for the New York Knicks. The Suns made some questionable roster moves with the addition of Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick, and Hedo Turkoglu to even out the loss of more fan favorites in Leandro Barbosa, Lou Amundson, and Stoudemire. The team has not been able to click and find consistency as a whole. Bright spots are the aging stars of Steve Nash and Grant Hill, but now questions linger if they should be traded to contenders or not.

The Suns find themselves in a tough situation right now. They are among the bottom of the NBA standings as the All-Star break approaches. It is ironic that Chris Webber was chanting "Free Steve Nash" on last night's NBA coverage of the Nuggets blowout over the Suns. Is it time to consider the possibility of trading our beloved hero that made us believe in the underdog? Or will the Suns keep him much like the Kings kept Bibby even though they sunk to the NBA cellar? Either way, it will hurt to watch the Suns as they struggle but we will have to be there every step of the way.

Hope this post was interesting to read. I tried my best to keep it short and to the point. This was my first post so constructive feedback is greatly appreciated!

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