Hear ye, hear ye! The results are in!
Bright Siders have been busy voting on recent polls to determine which season in Phoenix Suns history is the most highly anticipated. We began by breaking the Suns’ 55-year history into four distinct eras (The ‘Dave King was Around’ Era, the Barkley Era, the 7SOL Era, and the Booker Era). Each of those eras had distinct seasons in which the fan base could barely contain their excitement for the next year. We pitted the winner of each era against one other in order to determine which season was the most anticipated.
1,487 total votes were cast, and we now have the results. And the winner is?
With 52% of the vote, we’re living in the most highly anticipated season in Suns history, as the 2023-24 Suns won.
While I don’t disagree with the results –the excitement for the new season has reached fever pitch – I’m interested to see how this poll would’ve been conducted if one factor was removed: the unknown. More on that in a bit.
The team has new uniforms, new All-Stars, a new owner who is willing to take the risks we deem necessary, and has enough firepower to make the Suns a historically great offensive team. A perfect storm is brewing, despite no actual storms hitting the Valley via the monsoon this offseason.
Phoenix has added 10 new players to their roster, completely flipping the disappointment that occurred in the Second round against the Denver Nuggets into optimism and hope. James Jones no longer is handcuffed by his owner, and in true Bob Ross fashion, is plastering the canvas that is his roster with creativity, vision, and little happy clouds.
The expectations for the 2023-24 Phoenix Suns are incredibly high. So high, in fact, that the pessimistic Suns fan in me is making an appearance as he is a tad bit frightened. We’ve read this book before and felt the utter disappointment of what a high-expectations Suns basketball team brings. Perhaps that is why the unknown season ahead won with 52% of the vote. Because, despite the preseason anticipation of 1977, 1992, and 2006, we remember the scars of those seasons as well.
A franchise without a Larry knows all too well what it’s like to not meet expectations. You can pinpoint specific moments in franchise history in which your heart has been violently shattered, your hope has been eviscerated, and your soul has been vacuumed from your body. Pessimistic Voita asks, “how are we going to do this this season?”.
But the one thing that we do have entering this off-season is hope. And that’s what creates a sense of bias in doing this polling. That, and it’s a shared experience. Not everyone was present for the off-seasons as we navigated the various eras of Suns basketball. I did my best to describe the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ as it pertains to the anticipation for the season that lied ahead. But unless you experienced it, you truly don’t have a firm grasp of how it felt.
Personally, the hype behind the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns or something that we had never seen or felt. Phoenix became something in that moment. Granted, I was a nine-year-old obsessed with basketball, so I too have my personal biases and emotional connections to that team and that period in my life.
It feels kind of funny, that I did all of this work, and now, as I analyze the results, I feel it is somewhat a farce. But I outlined it pretty clearly when I began this polling two weeks ago, stating that, “It’s a subjective question, sure, but it’s the offseason and comparing, contrasting, analyzing, and debating is what fills the days. I want to get to the bottom of this question, and so I thought we’d play a fun ‘lil game.” That’s what this was. A fun ‘lil offseason game.
There’s no such thing as perfect polling when you’re talking about the ‘greatest of all time’ or the ‘most important’. It’s too subjective and too many biases exist. But it’s a fun conversation piece, and it’s August. So I thank you for participating in the poll and while I don’t disagree with the results, we will need some time to understand the true impact of the anticipation we have for the season.
Make no mistake about it, however, we are tuned in. We’re turned on. We’re excited for the season that lies ahead.