The window for the sun is now

I know we’re all thinking of Robert Sarwar right now. And it’s very understandable. This is an important topic affecting our team and should be discussed and discussed. But we’re on the cusp of a new Phoenix Sun Seasons, regardless of how the Sarwar investigation turns out to be an ugly outcome. As much as we should talk about Sarwar, let’s not forget what the Sun is here for.

That said, it’s hard to tell whether a team is good enough to win an NBA championship until it actually wins the NBA championship. One could argue that a team that didn’t win a championship wasn’t good enough, and it’s hard to argue with that argument.

But one could also argue that a team may be good enough to win and fail to do so. And that’s what I would argue about the last two Phoenix Sun Teams that lost in nba finals To Milwaukee Bucks and then in the semifinals of the Western Conference against Dallas Mavericks,

And I’ll further submit that this season’s Sons squad, with a few adjustments that GM James Jones shouldn’t be in too much trouble before the trade deadline, is also going to be good enough. It’s been three straight seasons of legitimate contention for the NBA title, and it’s time for Suns fans to realize that the ride won’t last forever. The sun must now break through this window, before the steel shutters can come down.

good things don’t last

Let’s look beyond the Suns’ own history, as most Sun fans are familiar with the team’s previous legitimate contender iterations, including the Steve Nash-led squads of the 2000s and the Barkley teams of the early ’90s.

There have been several other teams where the Suns are – with an exciting young core seemingly set to struggle for four to five seasons – or even longer. But more often than not, those teams (especially mid-market ones like our Sun) have found their windows much more limited than the more optimistic estimates. Let’s see, if you take on a case study and what it takes to derail a credible claimant.

Case Study: The orlando magic

Full disclosure: As a young NBA fan I fell in love with the Orlando Magic in the mid-1990s. His exciting style of play, his apparent joy on the court and his uniform were on point. Aside from the sunburst, these things might just be my favorite NBA jersey.

Orlando Magic vs Sacramento Kings

Photo by Rocky Widener/NBAE via Getty Images

For those who have forgotten, or those under the age of 35 who know little about this now-distant history, the magic of the mid-90s may be challenging for the Eastern Conference crown for the foreseeable future. ready for The team was swept 93/94 in the first round of the playoffs, but compiled a 50-win season under the leadership of 21-year-old Shaquille O’Neal and 22-year-old Anferney “Penny” Hardaway. Only one of the Magic’s top five scorers that season (29-year-old Scott Skills) was over the age of 26.

The following season, the Magic went 57–25 before reaching the NBA Finals. Houston Rockets, And in 95/96, they went 60–22, without a single player in their top 5 scorers over 30. They were eliminated from the Eastern Conference Finals, however, by resurrected Michael Jordan. Chicago Bulls,

In the following season they were the only club to win 47, and by 1998 they were a .500 team missing from the postseason. So what? Well, a few things that denote a loss that can run in a team.

First, and most infamously… they lost Shaq. The team made the wrong decision to downgrade their free agent Future Hall of Fame Center, even though they could have crossed the threshold to sign him and there was no luxury tax penalty at the time. It is often assumed retrospectively by fans that Shaq landed in L.A. because lakers Could pay him the most, but that’s not true…Magic could pay him whatever they wanted, there was no maximum salary at the time.

O’Neill also reportedly faced an outing with both the front office and Hardaway, and it all led to eventually joining the Lakers and running a three-peat championship in Los Angeles.

Secondly, Hardaway, one of the most talented young point guards in the game, broke down. He lost 23 games in 1997, and almost the entire season in 1998. Although he had some good stretches as a member of Our Sons a few years later, he was never really himself after 1997. Unable to attract premier free agent talent to Orlando, The Magic would not advance beyond the early playoff rounds again until 2008.

Lessons learned:

What can we take away from it? The Magic fell victim to questionable decision making from the top, big egos on the court, and the tragic physical disfigurement of a star player. We’ve seen Surya battling all of this over the years, except for one injury… but we unfortunately know it can strike at any time.

There are some differences between the conditions that are worth noting. First, the Suns have most of their top young stars, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikael Bridges, under contracts for several seasons each and they are simply not in immediate danger of leaving, as Shaq did Orlando.

But times have changed since the heyday of the Shaqs, with star players now in control of their fortunes and able (in some cases, anyway) to essentially keep their futures to their existing clubs regardless of their contract status. to force. Therefore, mismanagement from above, is still a serious risk to the sun.

Maybe it takes an even deeper consideration given the current situation with Robert Sarver. It’s not hard to imagine the feelings between the players and this franchise at this point in time, and it’s important that everyone fights to prevent Sun from operating.

Injury, as mentioned earlier, can strike any player at any time. I hesitate to even type it in, but a serious injury to Devin Booker or Deandre Ayton could easily derail a Sans season, even in a world where the team has effectively replaced Chris Paul.

The Sun just needs to take advantage. this season. No half measures, no fence riding, no mention of future seasons when “Ayton will improve further” or “Bridge will be able to make more shots.” If it takes a draft pick to make a major acquisition, I say do it. If it ends up losing a well-liked secondary contributor, I say do it. Live for today, Sons fans.

Because if there’s one Magic Team I really like (and many others we can name, given the endless time and space to do so) that have taught me, it’s that the ride can end abruptly. Is. Let’s make sure it’s the best we can have while it lasts.

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