It is with trembling hands, tears in my eyes, and the heaviest of hearts that I inform you that the former managing editor of Bright Side of the Sun and architect of Bright Side Night, Dave King, has passed away after a valiant battle with stage IV melanoma that spread to the brain. He was 56 years old. He leaves behind his loving wife, three wonderful girls, supportive sister, adoring parents, and a community of Suns fans who admired his work.
The Phoenix Suns community has lost an influential voice as Dave, who always provided an insightful perspective on the team in a digestible tone, authored over 2,800 articles for Bright Side of the Sun during his tenure with the site. He served as the managing editor from 2010 to 2023, including during the historic run to the 2021 NBA Finals.
Dave guided his readers through the potholes during some of the toughest days in the Suns’ history, as many of those teams in the mid-2010s were less than stellar. His levity, combined with a realistic perspective and level-headed understanding of who and what the team was, provided sanity to a fan base in turmoil. He was straightforward with his analysis, quick-witted with his words, and enthusiastic about his Suns.
Affectionately nicknamed by his fellow podcasting brethren as the “Suns Daddy”, his weekly Solar Panel Podcast was a pioneer in the space of Suns media. Initially joined by Greg Esposito and Tim Tompkins, the Solar Panel was the first to connect with the fan base via YouTube, doing so every Saturday morning. Over a warm cup of coffee, we would watch, listen, laugh, and anticipate his “Stat Me Dave” segments and compelling interviews.
Without the vision Dave possessed, coupled with his willingness to invest in people who shared his passion for the team, we would not have such a vast array of outlets dedicated to the team. The Fanning the Flames Podcast, Suns JAM Session Podcast, PHNX, Clutch Points’ Trevor Booth, Brendan Kleen and Brandon Duenas from Locked On Suns, and Arizona Sports’ Kellan Olson; all have ties to Dave King for his faith in their coverage of the Suns.
If you were to ask Dave what was most important to him, outside of the love and support of his family and friends, it would be the time, effort, and impact of Bright Side Night. Giving back to the community by sending over 23,000 children to Suns’ games, King was the architect of the event which began in 2017. He had a strong desire to provide kids with their first NBA experience, knowing the importance of what that moment meant.
Allow me to get a little personal now, if you will.
Dave will be missed and this loss is unquantifiable. People come and go in and out of our lives all of the time. Every now and then, however, someone enters and makes an impact that you did not see coming. Dave was one of those people. Whether you knew him personally or enjoyed reading his words, he left an impact. On your mind, on your thoughts, and on your perspective.
He truly was one of the greatest people I have met in my life. I’ll never forget when I first began podcasting and writing about the Suns, doing so for a competing site. Dave reached out to me via Twitter DM and expressed interest in what we were doing and offered for both Matthew Lissy and me to join Bright Side. He didn’t do so to benefit himself, he did so because he enjoyed listening to what we had to say.
Dave was a mentor, an inspiration, and a friend. He was someone who took a chance on me and I will forever be in his debt for doing so. I have friendships now that would never have existed if he hadn’t been his typical selfless self, and my life is full because he cared. I shall miss our countless conversations, not only about Suns’ basketball, but about life. Thank you for the opportunities, DK.
Again, certain people come into your life and change it. Dave King did that for me in ways I cannot begin to even express, and to any who knew him, they’d say the same. If you read his words here on Bright Side, I’m sure you’d say the same as well.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that you make donations to Dave’s beloved Bright Side Night (the information still reflects Bright Side Night 2024 on the Suns’ website, but all donations count towards next year’s event). We will continue this annual fundraiser, carrying the Bright Side Night torch forward in his honor.
There was only one Dave King. Rest easy, my friend.