The final Fiesta De Los Suns event of the season ended abruptly Wednesday night in Scottsdale as fans who were lined up to meet second-year forward Josh Jackson realized he was nowhere to be seen.
The event was part of a partnership between the Suns, Dos Equis and Fry’s Food Stores which gave Suns fans an opportunity to — if they bought a 12-pack of beer — win two tickets for a future home game.
Jackson’s appearance, as you can see, was the grand finale, in which fans who attended all the prior events were given a fast pass. Except fans at the Fry’s at 20th Street and Camelback Road waited a little over an hour before they were told Jackson would not be there.
Fans were told by general manager James Jones they would not be meeting Jackson due to a “scheduling conflict,” said Foshasta Jones, one of the people in line to meet the Suns’ starting forward, told Bright Side of the Sun.
“While everyone was waiting outside we could over hear the Suns community staff saying that Josh was running late and they had no idea where he was,” Jones continued.
Suns officials then gathered contact information from each fan in attendance and told the crowd they would be sending each person the two tickets in addition to an autograph from Jackson. In addition, all fans over 21 were given a free 12-pack of beer.
“People there were disappointed but I know me and the people around me were kind of not surprised,” Foshasta Jones told Bright Side, though he said he was pleased that GM James Jones stuck around, taking pictures and signing autographs himself.
The last time Foshasta Jones attended a Suns meet and greet was several years ago with Goran Dragic at a Jack In The Box restaurant in Mesa and that event went smoothly.
Jackson’s Instagram story showed him at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, a restaurant 8.3 miles from the Fry’s store, celebrating a friend’s birthday party. He had already left practice when media members were let in on Thursday afternoon.
It’s possible — maybe even likely — that all this came simply because Jackson forgot about the event. Mistakes happen. But on a day in which the Suns were already fighting through negative publicity via ESPN about managing partner Robert Sarver and the franchise’s unorthodox view toward the draft these days, it’s a tough break to have a fan favorite miss out on a public appearance like this.
Update: Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro is reporting the Suns fined Jackson $20,000 for not showing up at the event.
The Phoenix Suns have fined Josh Jackson $20,000 for not showing up at a team event last night.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 28, 2019
Stay with us at Bright Side as we update with any further details that come out.