clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Riddle of Rick Robey

Everyone knows the Kareem story.  Yes ... we understand, the Suns have been searching for a legit center since they lost the coin flip.  The story/joke/reaction/analysis has almost reached mythical proportions.  For a Suns fan, it's the equivalent of learning about George Washington and the Cherry Tree or Honest Abe walking 5 miles to return one penny in change.

That's the lore ... my last post was to see what the fans here knew about the history and the lore.  Everyone knows the stories, but not everyone knows the history.

I'm not passing judgment and, frankly, I don't care if you can't recite every player personnel moves the Suns have made since 1968.  I was wondering what types of readers we have, and I was thinking about the persons that read the blogs.

According to the poll, 60% of the readers who appear here during the summer have never even heard of the guy.  Since I cannot really do a double-blind, random study I am left with a few alternative explanations: (1) long-time fans don't access the internet and blogs because they're too old, (2) true fans visit the blogosphere only occassionally during the off-season because the majority of them have productive lives and are not living in their mothers' basements, (3) we've got a bunch of internet-geeks who just like to visit the blogs and have no real passion/devotion for the team, (4) the persons who were around back then and visiting the site now have blocked this painful event from their memories, and (5) maybe some combination.

My purpose was two-fold: (1) get a feel for the demographic this month, and (2) sit on my tree stump with a whittlin' stick to tell a story to the young'uns.

Most everyone who follows basketball should know Dennis Johnson for at least one of three reasons (1) he may have been the only black man with freckles besides Morgan Freeman (2) he recently passed away and many sports media outlets did some sort of retrospctive, or (3) you actually remember him.  If you still need help, go Google him or check him out on Wikipedia; however, here is the only thing you need to know -- Larry Bird called him the best teammate he's ever had.

Before he was Bird's favorite teammate, he was a Finals MVP for Seattle.  In between Seattle and Boston, he was a Phoenix Sun.  I was in middle school when they traded him for Rick Robey.  My dad tried to explain the rationale behind the trade to me.  I still remember the conversation --

"So, they traded him away because they think they need a big center?"


"But what if the big center sucks?" (Note: My dad agreed with my sentiment but sent me to my room for saying someone "sucks" -- that was the equivalent of a four-letter word in my youth).

There are rumors that Red Auerbach pulled one over on a still young and naive J.C. -- you must remember that J.C. looked up to that cigar-chomping champ.

So, that's my version of the story -- no point, just an observation in a weblog. 

I'm thinking that this article -- comparing the Shaq trade to the Robey trade -- didn't get much readership because of Alternative #1 in the first paragraph setting forth the first of many lists.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun