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No foolin’: Fans will one day reflect fondly on the 2016-17 Phoenix Suns

The team has provided enough memories to last a lifetime

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As you may or may not be aware, the Phoenix Suns have been akin to an exploding porta potty lately. They presently own a record of 22-54, are strategically resting their best players night in and night out, and might finish the season with a 16-game losing streak if things keep up, which would be the longest in franchise history.

People have written this off as a lost season, instead looking forward to the Draft Lottery in May as they scour mock drafts. With the top end of the draft brimming with potential superstars, it can be tough to blame anyone for searching out greener pastures. After all, the Suns front office did just that months ago.

Regret is a tough thing to live with, though, and that’s exactly what fans are likely to experience by ignoring what’s plainly in front of their faces.

It is difficult to be objective when it comes to one’s favorite team, but this has not been a bad season…at least when it comes to making memories. In fact, anyone who takes a moment to reflect honestly on this can probably rattle off a bevy of memories off the top of their head. And they don’t have to be the big memories, either.

Look beyond the 70 points by Devin Booker. Set aside the game winners from Eric Bledsoe and Booker and Tyler Ulis. Forget the 36-point dismantling of the Los Angeles Lakers for a moment, and take the opportunity to appreciate everything this season has provided.

Fans watched as the Suns trotted out the youngest average starting lineup in NBA history at 21 years, 14 days against the Brooklyn Nets on Mar. 23 — a lineup that was younger than seven of the eight NCAA Tournament teams’ starting fives in action that very same night. And in those moments where they didn’t look their age, the Suns were a sight to behold. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this season.

Only one iteration of the Phoenix Suns has ever lost 60 or more games in a season — the 1968-69 expansion Suns. However, if Phoenix loses its final six games, the 2016-17 Suns will join that expansion club as just the second Suns team in 49 seasons to accomplish the feat. And we could all be witnesses. Special indeed.

Or how about less historical moments, like that breakaway dunk chance P.J. Tucker had against the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 28 only to lose his grip on the ball and turn it over? Or when The Gorilla slid onto the court on his belly mid-play to retrieve a drumstick he accidentally flung into the action? Moments like those bring a smile to my face every time I think about them.

Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz or Josh Jackson might sound nice going forward, but how can any of them compete with the rich tapestry of significant moments woven by this current roster over these past 76 games?

Seeing the big picture isn’t always easy. Things are rarely spelled out in a way that makes them obvious. But in the midst of all the losing the Suns have suffered through — and Suns fans by association — the season has still provided a bounty of memories that each and every Suns fan can carry with them, reflect upon, and dare I say, even cherish as years go by.

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