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Thoughts on the new era and departure of Hill/Nash

It never really occurred to me that such a thing would happen until I open up my laptop half-asleep and saw the headline on this website "Steve Nash Era In Phoenix Nears Its End." My eyes literally sunk and I could feel chemical churning in my brain. I never would have imagined it a year ago and not even during the last game of the season. It feels strange that the person who rekindled my interest in basketball would leave just as soon as it started.

I was more of a passive basketball observer until 2010 when, with a summer of little to do and new college friends with basketball loyalties, that I started to watch in on the NBA playoffs more keenly. I had watched the tail end of the regular season and followed the seeding and started watching from the beginning. I remember Chicago and DRose as the 8th seed and all of the other usual culprits. I really had no loyalties; in fact, I kind of liked the Bulls but only slightly. I remember tuning in on the Blazers series and began to pay closer attention to the Suns and some guy named Steve Nash who just played like art on a canvas. I made sure to tune in on the rest of the series and began to follow it. The passes were crisp and the shooting was like a laser. He seemed to have a swag about him that made him play above the rest. I loved watch Stoudemire's aggressive moves to the basket and watch a great leader like Hill.

I remember tuning on the Spurs game, admittedly not knowing much of the rivalry other than knowing the Spurs beat the Suns earlier. I remember watching the Phoenix bench shred the opposition and I look back fondly at "the game" by the dragon. I loved watching Dragic and the 2nd unit run the floor. My interest was peaked and I looked forward with deadly anticipation for the Lakers series knowing full well who they were up against.

I remember every painful detail of the series and enjoyed it as the best series I had watched thus far. After the bitter ending, I began to get back into watching and following basketball but also looking for a team of my own to care about. Having been raised in Kansas City where the Chiefs and Royals are the only teams of pride here, basketball was only the Kansas vs Missouri border battles that I found exciting but altogether unsatisfactory. I never really decided on the Suns as I still like the Bulls and my interest was kinda split.

I followed the headlines for each team during that exciting off-season. I looked at the Suns signing guys like Josh Chilldress and Hakim Warrick and assumed they were gonna put this team back into the playoffs with the older guys still running the show (boy was I naive!).

Perhaps what made this convoluted state of affairs all the more disappointing was watching a team with Nash, my favorite player, struggle so much from their once dominant glory. I basically watched the team that I loved in the playoffs getting shipped off and replaced piece by piece by people like Earl Barron, Telfair and Vince Carter.

As I reflect on Nash and Hill departing and much of the rest of the core gone, I look back at what made me a Suns fan today with all players that I fell in love with being gone. In a way, I am surprised I am still on this site. However, there was something about orange and purple, watching crappy streams and pursuing the game threads and living as a Suns fan that made the last 2 years special. Perhaps it was channeling an inner sense of community that I got by watching the games and interacting with you guys. Perhaps it was just something to do on lonely nights. Perhaps, philosophically, the Suns seem to go against the establishment with its unorthodox style of play and a kind of successful alternative to the big ego cities. That kind of revolutionary type of character seemed exciting. Somehow, it became more than that.

I stand here seeing the final dismantling of the old team entering a rebuilding era with lots of fresh faces. I like many of them: Dudley, Marshall, Dragic, Kieff and Gortat among them. There are others I look at saying where am I? (Beasly and Scola)However, I think I will stick with this team. I may have never seen a Suns game in person or even Suns fan in person for that matter but there is a vibe about this organization and community that is making it hard for me to leave.

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