We’re friends here so I’m going to be very honest with you. This past March when I left the Phoenix Suns after five years of seeing how the sausage was made as an employee, I wasn’t sure I could be a fan anymore.
It wasn’t because I saw anything too overly appalling in my time there. (Sorry, I know you probably thought this would be a Skip Bayless type rant destroying my ex-bosses. It’s not.) Deep down, after turning my hobby into a career, I was afraid I just couldn’t have fun with it anymore.
This just in. Sources have confirmed to Sports360AZ that my childlike passion for the Suns returned on Thursday night thanks in part to Ryan McDonough’s use of the Force on fellow NBA general managers allowing him to pull off legal theft.
The Suns draft was the basketball equivalent of combining Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Porky’s into the craziest 1980’s film of all time. Ironically enough, all these movies were at least a decade old by the time the players the Suns picked were born. That’s because the Suns found their next Isiah Thomas. No, not their former point guard, but rather the former Knicks GM.
You remember, the guy who bailed the Suns out the last time things looked super bleak by taking Stephon Marbury, the corpse of Penny Hardaway and the Oliver Miller sized contracts off their hands. The move that jump started the Suns rebuild process and led to the ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ era and that solidified Thomas’ spot in the pantheon of all-time bad GMs. Vlade Divac may soon be joining him there thanks to Thursday.
The Kings GM helped make the Suns the winners of draft night when he agreed to send the No. 8 pick to the Suns for No. 13, No. 28, the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic and a future 2nd rounder. The pick gave the Suns the front court of the future by pairing Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.
The thought of these two vastly different but equally exciting young big men running the floor with Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe and T.J. Warren for years to come is the kind of excitement that has been missing from my life as a Suns fan and the Purple Palace for far too long.
The draft proved that McDonough is calling the shots and that his blueprint is all about building a contender the right way without shortcuts. He became Suns fans own personal Oprah by giving all Suns fans the power forward they wanted.
Will Bender, Booker and Chriss all pan out? Who the hell knows? But the three of them along with the front office restored hope and excitement in Phoenix on Thursday night. Even to those of us who weren’t sure we were capable of having it anymore.