Never before have the Phoenix Suns played basketball in August... and it’s been at least six years since they’ve played meaningful games at the end of a season.
Every single player that was on that 2014-15 team that finished 39-43 but was still in the playoff race at the All-Star break is gone. That team was 38-33 near the end of March of 2015 but went 1-10 in their remaining games to crush the playoff hopes of their fans once again.
The Suns have been horrid since then... until now.
Throughout those years we’ve mostly only had the promise of what Devin Booker might become to give us hope in the future. He was the shining star that kept us watching mostly horrid basketball through the years that the Suns kept bring in “high potential” players through the draft that mostly flamed out year after year.
I won’t bother to name them because you all know who they are.
For years we hoped that Ryan McDonough actually had a plan that might eventually work but it never seemed to do so. His last two draft picks, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, have been two of his best, but they came too late to save his job.
After taking over as GM, James Jones hasn’t been perfect but overall his record as the Suns’ GM has proven results. Regardless of what people might think of each individual move he has made, the total of them all has resulted in the Suns being in the position to contend for a playoff spot this season. Plus going 6-0 in the “bubble” during a pandemic that has rocked the entire nation has caught the attention of many sports fans and it has energized the Suns faithful.
Just looking at the contributions of Cameron Payne and Jevon Carter this season can’t help but make you smile. Cameron Johnson has outperformed almost everyone’s expectations. Dario Saric is looking like a great acquisition. Need I even mention Ricky Rubio’s contributions to this season? I think not.
The Suns aren’t close to contending for the NBA title but after ten years of being out of the playoffs they are very close to at least getting a seat at the playoff table this year.
That’s an accomplishment.
Kudos to James Jones but also kudos to Devin Booker to being so devoted to bringing this franchise back to relevance. Many thanks to Monty Williams for getting this team to buy in and devote themselves to winning. Thanks also to all the Suns players for believing in this team and putting in all the effort that they have to make this such a memorable season.
And most of all, thanks to the fans who have followed the Suns through all of the tough times.
The Suns are on their way to great things and better times. It’s been a rough ride on the way to get here but the future is finally looking bright.