Posted on: February 26, 2009 5:10 pm

Suns are bad and it's good.


Suns fans finally have a reason to pay attention to the regular season, namely that there could be no post season.  The past four regular seasons have been irrelevant for many Suns fans.  The team was one of the top three or four in the NBA, and they were a lock to make the playoffs from the first day in training camp.


Each season would end in disappointment as the Suns would eventually lose in the playoffs, making it to the conference finals in 2005 and 2006.  Suns fans would start the next season wishing that it was over already so that they could have another shot at the playoffs and a NBA championship.  They would have to bide their time for the next six months as the team went through the motions of the regular season.  The Spurs were the only team that seemed to be able to beat them.


This year is different.  This year’s team has been very inconsistent and had some very high highs, and some very low lows.  It has made fans sick to their stomach at times, and now we sit on the verge of a brutal nine game stretch questioning if the team will even make the playoffs.  Amar’e Stoudemire is done for the season, Shaq is disappointed he wasn’t traded, and it is questionable if Steve Nash will be able to play the next few games.  Adversity has been abundantly present this season.


That is what sports is about, going through the ups and downs of the season to ultimately get your team to stick their foot in the door of the playoffs and hope they go all the way.  Every fan wants their team to be good, but when they are too good you begin to take things for granted and forget to enjoy the regular season.  You aren’t able to sit on the edge of your seat and watch each game with baited breath, knowing that each game could get you one step closer to the playoffs or put you that much more out of it.  Each game matters and it’s anyone’s guess if the Suns will win.


So thank you Suns, for a dramatic season, even if it does only last until April.


Category: NBA
Tags: Phoenix, Suns
Posted on: February 18, 2009 2:31 pm

140 points, millions of smiles

Congratulations to Alvin Gentry and the newly inspired Phoenix Suns.  This team was playing very lethargically prior to the all star break, but came out last night firing on all cylinders.  They crushed the Clippers by forty points, and dominated so much that Shaq felt at ease enough to eat popcorn from a fan.  That is something you never would have seen with Porter.


Granted they were the Clippers, and they were down a few key players, but a win like that will lift a team no matter what the circumstances.  In addition, under Porter, no team was to be taken for granted.  They Suns were owned by the Bobcats earlier in the season and regularly underperformed against inferior competition.


It is nice that the team is playing the Clippers again, and then the Thunder prior to meeting the Celtics on Sunday.  This gives the Suns three games to allow the team to gel under the new coaching style before having a true test against one of the leagues best teams.  It is just nice to see that the players are actually willing to play for this coach, and I hope that the Suns darkest days are now behind them.

Category: NBA
Tags: Phoenix, Suns
Posted on: February 16, 2009 5:14 pm

Planet Orange has been hit by an asteroid

All Star weekend came and went and Amare Stoudemire was not traded, and it is looking less likely that he will be, which is the right decision at this point in time.  Apparently no offers came in that were desirable enough for Steve Kerr to pull the trigger.  The Suns wanted to make a move that would benefit them financially and also not set them back too far on the court. 


Instead Terry Porter was fired after a half of a season to make an attempt to solve the Suns woes.  Terry Porter was largely ineffective with this group of players.  Steve Nash, Shaq, Grant Hill, and the rest of this veteran team were not responding to his style.  These players are looking for a player friendly coach, one that will let them be them.  So Alvin Gentry, a Mike D’Antoni guy, is now the interim coach, and the players can go back to doing whatever they want to do.


I wouldn’t say that the state of the team is necessarily Porter’s fault, but I wouldn’t say that it isn’t either.  The players quit on him, but that was largely due to him trying to reset a team into something that it is not.


I am still in favor of trading Amare.  He’s not the player that will lead this team to success, and he’s not willing to be a role player either.  He refuses to play defense, he refuses to work to get rebounds, and he seems largely lackadaisical about it.  Perhaps a better offer with come in the off season,


In addition to the discontent in the locker room, and the admission of failure with Terry Porter, the Suns now have Jason Richardson endangering his 3 year old son and everyone else on the road.  He was arrested for driving 90 mph in a 35 with his son unrestrained in the backseat.  This is the icing on the Suns dysfunctional cake.  So the question is now, what else can go wrong?

Category: NBA
Tags: Phoenix, Suns
Posted on: February 13, 2009 5:41 pm

Small Market or Large Market

Yesterday Robert Sarver, owner of the Suns, was being interviewed on the radio.  He stated at one point that Phoenix was a small market, at which point I yelled at the radio.  This lead me to question if Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the US is a small market, what constitutes a large market.  Population of the city, attendance, what? 


Below I have compiled information on the 8 largest cities in the US, and also included Boston and San Francisco.  This includes the population of the city, and the % of overall (home and road) attendance the team draws.  So 100% would mean the team is selling out their home games, and all their road games average to sell outs as well.  95 would mean that for the total seats for all the games the team plays, 95% are sold. I used this to see how the team is followed on the road.  I realize this is not a perfect examination of a team’s national following, because teams such as the Red Sox, sell out every home game no matter who the opposing team is.  Although it’s not perfect, I felt it was a decent interpretation with out examining apparel sales, TV ratings, etc.


So, who are the largest markets?


By population it is New York, LA, and Chicago.


For basketball, it is LA, Boston, and Phoenix.  So the small market that Robert Sarver cited is somewhat of a misnomer.  Out of the eight largest cities, as well as Boston and San Francisco, Phoenix ranks 3<sup>rd</sup>. 


For baseball its, Boston, Chicago (Cubs), and New York (Yankees).  No real surprise there.  Unfortunately the Diamondbacks are next to last.  The Diamondbacks do, however, get very good TV ratings statewide.


For football, guess what, there is a reason that this years Super Bowl was the highest rated ever.  The Eagles, CARDINALS, and Giants, are the largest. 


For hockey, Chicago, New York (Rangers), and the Sharks have the largest markets.  This does not include Canadian markets, and Detroit was not included.  Coyotes, like the Diamondbacks, are second to last. 


Again, just the eight largest cities by population were included, and then I wanted to look at the other two markets.  So next time someone tries to tell you that Phoenix is a small market for football or basketball, you can call them a liar right to their face.


New York 8.2 million, Knicks 93.6,  Yankees 86.2, Giants 100.6, Rangers 102.2

LA 3.8 million, Lakers 99.8, Dodgers 80.3, NA, Kings 89.8

Chicago 2.8 million, Bulls 94.6, Cubs 90, Bears 96.3, Blackhawks 104.5

Houston 2.2 million, Rockets 93.2, Astros 78.3, Texans 99.8, NA

Phoenix 1.5 million, Suns 96.2, Diamondbacks 68.9, Cardinals101.4, Coyotes 90

Philadelphia 1.4 million, 76ers 79.7, Phillies 84.6, Eagles 102.3, Flyers 96.1

San Antonio 1.3 million Spurs 92.2, NA, NA, NA

San Diego 1.2 million, NA, Padres 73.7, Chargers 94.5, NA

Dallas 1.2 million, Mavericks 95.3, Rangers 57.6, Cowboys 99.9, Stars 92.8

San Francisco 764k, Warriors 91.6, Giants 77, 49ers 94.3, Sharks 96.5

Boston 599k, Celtics 99.1, Red Sox 92.9, Patriots 99.1, Bruins 93.9





Category: NBA
Posted on: February 6, 2009 5:18 pm

"I'm not the captain" -Amare, 02/06/09

"I’m not the captain, you can't blame too much on me"


No you’re not Amare, and you never will be.  It’s hard to gain the respect of your teammates when the most athletically talented player hasn’t learned how to rebound or play defense in the past five years.  It’s hard to gain respect when the so called “all star” routinely gets shown up by no name players on opposing teams.  Steve Nash, the 6’3” 180 lb 30 something captain has done more for this team and this city that you could ever hope to with only a fraction of your talent.


You’re done here Amare.  You are a selfish player.  You are a lazy player.  You are an overrated player.  You are now a joke on a weekly basis.  This team cannot win with you.  This team is less than the sum of its parts because of you.  Your true colors were masked under the D’Antoni system, but now that he has left you’re true colors are exposed.  Have fun in the Eastern Conference being the go to guy on a losing team.  There is another organization out there that is waiting for you to alienate yourself in their locker room too. 

Category: NBA
Tags: Phoenix, Suns
Posted on: February 5, 2009 12:25 pm

Goodbye Suns

The Phoenix Suns that have been one of the top teams in the NBA for the past five years are done.  They faded away last year and this season are a distant memory, a shell of their former selves.  They used to dominate the league outside of the Spurs, but now they are getting beat regularly by the bottom feeders of the NBA.  They will be lucky to get the eighth spot in the playoffs and will probably get tossed out of the playoffs almost as soon as they get in, if indeed they do. 


The team is lazy.  They don’t play defense.  They don’t seem like they want to be there, and they don’t seem like they really even get along with each other that much.  A team with Nash, Shaq, Amare, and Richardson should not be getting blown out by the Warriors, Bulls, and Bobcats. 


It’s time to move some pieces.  They aren’t playing with each other anyway, so time to try something else.  Time to let Terry Porter mold them into the style of team that he can coach, not a half cocked version of the D’Antoni era. 


Suns fans better stock up on supplies and hunker down because the storm is about to come.  There will be several years where the team is not going to be competitive.  It’s not going to be the Suns team that everyone has become accustomed to.  Bottom line, the party is over and it’s time to clean up.

Category: NBA
Tags: Phoenix, Suns
Posted on: February 4, 2009 5:34 pm

Phoenix Suns Experience

Phoenix Suns


Just ok.  Medium level prices, ok fans, not the best food, not the best beer, probably the third worst parking out of the teams. The trendy team in town, so you tend to get less knowledgable people just going because it's the place to be.  After the game they won't be going to Cooperstown for a beer, but to a Scottsdale club for an apple martini. 

Category: NBA
Tags: Suns
Posted on: February 4, 2009 5:27 pm

Best Value in Phoenix Sports

The Phoenix area has all four major sports teams, all vying for the fans money.  Where is the best value, which venue provides the best experience for the money?  I’ll take a look at the ticket prices, fan atmosphere, parking, and stadium amenities to determine where you are most likely to have a good time.  This does not take into account the actual sport being played, just the atmosphere at the game.

I'll post this in four parts, one for each team. 

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com