Friday, May 29, marks a full decade since the Phoenix Suns last appeared in a playoff game.
That playoff run was their 29th in 42 franchise seasons, and their 27th in a 33-year stretch from 1977-2010.
Now the Phoenix Suns have gone a full 0-fer-9 in the decade since, and to place a cherry on top they are ranked 21st in a pandemic-suspended league considering an expanded 20-team playoff structure when the season resumes.
If you were ever going to cry over the 10-year clown show of ineptitude of your favorite franchise, now’s the time.
But I don’t see anyone crying. We’re not crying because we’re numb to it now. Even the mention of a 20-team playoff in a Disney bubble barely caused a ripple of emotion from the Suns long-suffering fanbase. The most we could muster was a shrug and wan smile. Like getting told no for the 99th time in the last 100 tries with your “friend with benefits”.
It’s not really fair that you could play 65 games, be 13 games under .500, position yourself 13th in your conference and STILL be left out of the playoffs.— Scott Howard (@ScottHoward42) May 27, 2020
Sports Moments That Made You Cry
For SB Nation’s ‘Sports Moments that made you cry’ theme week, I considered a lot of good and bad moments in franchise history.
I’m not a sappy guy. I’ll become waterworks in an emotional movie scene, but I rarely cry in real life situations. My brother in law? Now he can cry. He cries over lots of things and I admire that because it shows the world he’s in touch with his emotions. I’m in touch too, just not to the crying stage.
I don’t ever cry sad tears over sports that’s for sure. When Tim Duncan hit that three in the 2008 playoffs I didn’t cry. Nor when Ron Artest got that put-back in 2010. Not even when John Paxson nailed the three in 1993.
I get mad, but I don’t cry. When I’m in fan mode, no one wants to be around me when the Suns are down 10 to a bad team in November. I pound the couch, yell at the TV, lose all presence with others in the room. But I don’t cry.
I almost never cry happy tears either. I cheer so loud I lose my voice. I’ve even gotten dizzy before, cheering so hard at a game. Like when Raja Bell hit that game-tying three against the Clippers in 2006.
My most recent emotional Suns moment
But I did mist-up one time recently over a Suns game. And you’ll probably never guess which game that was.
The Suns were playing on opening night against a long-time rival. The game was a tight, back-and-forth affair for 3.5 quarters until the Suns biggest star decided to close it out with dagger after dagger — blowing open a tight game into a double-digit rout.
The crowd went wild, getting louder each time the ball swished through the hoop. Suns stars just simply don’t make bucket after important bucket without a clank, I found myself getting emotional. By the final shot of the run, 20,000 fans were on their feet, going wild, raising the roof, cheering louder than I’d heard in a long time (outside of T-shirt tosses).
As the fans remained on their feet for the star’s — and the team’s — curtain call, I actually felt a rush of warmth from my chest to my face. My eyes misted. My ears burned.
Afterward, in the locker room, one Suns player said it was the most fun he’d ever had in a basketball game. Another said this was a sign of things to come. The star quietly took questions, brushed off praise, and said he was looking forward to many more nights like that one.
That night was October 17, 2018. The star was Devin Booker, who’d scored 19 of his 35 points in that 4th quarter stretch, including all 6 of his shots. The win was a 21-point blowout over the Dallas Mavericks that was just a 4-point Suns lead with 7 minutes to play. Booker scored the Suns next 14 points and 19 of their next 25 from that 7-minute mark and the rout was on.
The emotion came because we had endured such bad basketball for years, and it appeared for one glorious opening night that new coach Igor Kokoskov and a young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton (rookie), Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren could be buoyed by veterans Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson into a meaningful season of important games.
But the Suns lost their next 7 games and only won 18 of their last 81 games and the embarrassment over such foolish opening night thoughts would make me promise to never lose my shit over this team again.
How about you?
What was YOUR most recent moment of tears over the Phoenix Suns?
Are you an angry crier? Or a happy crier?
Tell your story in the comment section...