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Phoenix Suns Flashback Friday: A unique Shawn Marion story

Slow news day? Let me tell you a story...

MAXIM Magazine kicks off Super Bowl weekend at Grand Opening of Stone Rose Lounge, Scottsdale Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage

It’s the offseason, which gives us time to sit back, relax, slow cook in record-setting heat, and reflect on the 55 year history of the Phoenix Suns. Some many moments, so few Fridays between now and the start of the regular season.

I figured as the news cycle has slowed for the NBA and the Suns, we’d spend some time each Friday remembering people, places, and moments in Suns’ history. Some of you remember these like they were yesterday, others may use this as an opportunity to learn about the franchise you love. Others might by Bol Bol fans stopping through as spends a year in the Valley.

I have a silly story for you this week, and it isn’t really news. You’ll learn nothing form this piece. But it’s a chance for me to put it out into the ether and I’m going to tell it. Enjoy.

We all have our favorite Sun of all time. For the lonest time, mine was Shawn Marion. His defense, his pogo stick second step, his ability to be a Swiss Army knife in every sense of the word. I loved everything about Shawn Marion and how he approached the game of basketball. He was ahead of his time, as he recently acknowledged.

Do you want to hear about my closest encounter with my favorite Sun? Yeah?! Okay, lean in, because it’s quite the awkward affair.

I’ll never forget when Super Bowl XLII was in town in 2008. There was a buzz around the city and the nightlife was popping. Everywhere you went you had the opportunity to run into someone famous. Celebrities and professional athletes invaded the Valley.

At the time I was working as a bellman at The Westin Kierland Villas in Scottsdale, which happened to be the resort the families of the AFC Champion New England Patriots were staying. It’s a timeshare resort and the team was staying at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa which was a golf cart ride away. Randy Moss, Kevin Faulk, Vincent Wilfork; everyday after practice, they’d come the the Villas to spend time in the pool with their families.

On the Friday before the Super Bowl, a guest approached and asked if I’d be the designated driver for him and his friends one night. The group was in from New Jersey and wanted to party it up at all of the places to be seen and this was the pre-Uber days. I worked the AM shift, and so my night was free to do so. I agreed to assist them, knowing it’d be a story I’d type out on a Suns blog one day, and the tip would cover my rent for the month.

I worked in the morning, went home, and came back to the resort at 7:00pm to pick the Tony Soprano-talking group up, using their rental car as our chariot. The first stop was Westworld (if my memory serves me correctly), where I believe the Sports Illustrated party was being held. They had me drive them right up to the front, where I witnessed Jerry Jones walking in with four ladies on each arm. My passengers departed, and I drove to the dirt parking lot to sit and wait until they text me to pick them up.

It was a boring start of the night. This was pre-iPhone, so there was no Tik Tok or Instagram to fill the hours I sat waiting there. I wasn’t scrolling Twitter or streaming Netflix to pass the time. I sat in the darkness with soft music playing, wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Which brings me to the only “exciting” part of the night.

In the darkness of the dusty parking lot, a tall figure startled me as I witnessed their movement ahead. The person was bobbing and weaving through the parked cars, and I wasn’t sure if they were looking for their vehicle or checking handles for easy entry. The individual navigated the maze of cars and soon stopped two cars over to my right.

They paused and fumbled in the dark for a second.

Were they searching for something? Was it perhaps their keys or phone? Did they see me and decided I’m going to cap this idiot?

When they found what they were looking for, it all made sense. A loud sigh of relief bellowed through the still February night air as the sound of a waterfall splashing into the dirt began.

It was Shawn Marion.

The line at the party to the men’s room must’ve been long and surely had a gallon of adult beverages, because he was taking a savage piss. I couldn’t believe it. He turned to his left and locked eyes with me for a quick moment. He giggled, zipped, and went back into the party. I sat in disbelief at the events that occurred.

That is my Shawn Marion story. If you’re reading this, Matrix, I wonder if you remember.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told that story, but this is my first time typing it out. And it’s ridiculous. When my patrons text me to pick them up, the retrieval areas was a nightmare. I remember almost hitting Raja Bell with my vehicle as I navigated my way to my guests.

Working in hospitality, you always leave with a strange story. That is one of many for me, and it’s the one in which I locked eyes with my favorite player on the Suns. While he was taking a wazz.

I still believe it is a crime that he isn’t in the Suns Ring of Honor, and I don’t care for reasons why he shouldn’t be. He is sixth in games played, second in minutes played, third in field goal attempts and makes, second in offensive and total rebounds, first in defensive rebounds, second in steals, third in blocks, fifth in points, and first in win shares.

There is no reason he shouldn’t be in the Suns Ring of Honor. He was one helluva basketball player. And one strong pisser.

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