With 1.7 seconds left in the first half, Josh Howard launched a 3/4 court shot that rolled around the rim and fell. That one shot tells the story. The Suns were unable to get a stop - even when the opposing team was forced to launch a prayer, the Suns just couldn't keep the ball from going through the net. That sums up the Mavs game and that sums up this disappointing season. Just how disappointing this season actually was is up for debate. The Suns DID compete for the final playoff spot through 75 games, they DID play through a lot of injuries to key players (regardless of one's personal feelings towards Amare, dude is a BEAST on offense and can play good defense when he's motivated and losing him hurt especially given the Suns lack of depth down low) and had they played in the East, they would've been a 5th seed come playoffs. However, fact is fact and the Suns are now 1 loss (or Mavs win) away from missing the playoffs after having been a powerful team in this league the last 4 years. While that loss (or Mavs win) will ultimately come, no game will define this season's failures more than Sunday's game against the Mavericks. Now, because I don't want to pour any alcohol in the open wound that is the realization that the Suns season is all but officially over, I am choosing instead to focus on a different moment in Suns history (and maybe even make this a weekly thing until we have some better news as a fan base) – a moment that defined the career of one of our beloved Suns.
Travel back 20 years with me to the 1989 season. Tom Chambers was working with the Mayor Kevin Johnson running one of the most effective pick-and-rolls in the league and the Suns (as they always have) were scoring buckets. Ask any Suns fan about Tom Chambers and they might mention the 60 point game against his former team (the now defunct due to an inexcusable act of thievery Seattle Supersonics) or that he played in four all-star games. However, ask any outside basketball fan about Tom Chambers and it all comes back to one thing - the dunk.
Before you read on, just watch that video another time...I'll wait.
You sure you don't want to watch it again? No. Okay.
I like to wonder at what point after coming up with that steal did Chambers realize that this was going to be a special play. Perhaps he never realized it until he watched the highlights that night - maybe he was so caught up in the game action that he wasn't thinking about the life-altering dunk he just threw down. Maybe he realized it was something special after his knee made initial contact with Mark Jackson's chest yet somehow he just kept rising. The point is, I don't know and may never know (unless you actually read this post Mr. Chambers, in that case, do tell) but I do know that this single play cemented Tom Chambers place in NBA history as it will forever go down as one of the greatest in-game dunks of all time.
Now - again, on the off chance that Tom Chambers actually reads this - I have a couple more questions that I would like answered:
A) Does Chambers have this video on continuous loop on every electronic devise in his house?
In my lifetime I have had 4 dunks that I wish had been captured on video so that I could show them to my wife and future kids (and everybody else that I ever came in contact with) and I gotta think that this is the video for Chambers. I mean, he HAS to have it everywhere, right? Wouldn't you? If given the chance, could Chambers whip out his iPhone during any given conversation, with a shortcut straight to this video? Do his wife and kids mandatorily watch the video at least once a week to be reminded of just how awesome their husband/father once was?
B) Is this why Mark Jackson bags on the Suns during every ABC/ESPN televised Suns game?
Again, if I were Tom Chambers I would NEVER let Mark Jackson forget this dunk. I would remind him of it every chance I had and would constantly send him emails with the link. I would be personally responsible for making sure this video appeared somewhere fresh at least once a month (you know, because he's made millions of dollars and doesn't really have anything better to do).
So there you have it Suns fans - the play that defined Tom Chambers. Now, that you realize you just made it 15 whole minutes without thinking about the game that defined the Suns season, sit back and watch the video a few...dozen more times then start looking forward to next year.