As pumped up as everyone was for the NBA Playoffs this year, so far it has been more sad than happy. The number of "bad" stories has far outweighed the good stories and great games. And though I didn't watch a second of the Spurs-Suns series, I do at least know if it over now. The new parlor game here in Arizona will be "D'Antoni: Keep or Fire?" I think that both he and Avery Johnson and George Karl may soon be looking for new work. And if the Celtics can't get rid of the pesky Hawks, Doc Rivers may be joining them.
I guess my point was that when the playoffs started, no one expected that we would be talking more about bad than good. If the Spurs meet the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, that would be something to behold. And the Wiz-Cavs series has been exciting in a sort of "too frightening to look away" sense. But despite all that, I can't help but feeling that at a time when basketball should be synonymous with joy, for me, some of the great things I loved are coming to an end. I came to Arizona the same summer that Nash was signed, and they have been great years. However, it feels like they are over. It seems that Nash has bad games more often than I remember and the Suns still struggle with the same problems. A Shaq-sized Band-Aid hasn't changed that. And while pundits will continue to pontificate about how the Suns' model could never actually work, I'll remember the joy of watching them at their best - even if it often was during the regular season. Arguing for process over result is often the crutch that the unsuccessful cling to after their most recent failure and I think the Suns are the poster children for such (ir)rationalizations. But for me, I don't mind. In some ways, I perversely hope that the Suns fire D'Antoni and Nash retires and Phoenix Suns 2004-2008 can fade away as a memory only for those who witnessed it. As I've had less time to watch and less energy to care, I've realized I'm ready to move on. I'll remember the Nash-led Suns by what they actually achieved - not by what they could not achieve. I fear that few others will choose to remember them this way, but history is written by the victors. I see this Spurs' near-sweep as the end of a dynasty based on almost - a dynasty that never was - a dynasty that couldn't get over the hump. For most fans, I think mediocrity might be preferable to such a situation. But you won't hear that from me. I thought the Suns' inability to ever take that final stride rings true with my all-too-human failings. People don't watch sports to remind themselves of their own foibles, but I do. And it might be better if more people did.
Note: This is stream-of-consciousness while trying to digest some chocolate cake and a defeat by a loathsome enemy. Sorry if it doesn't make sense.
Today's Arizona Adventure!
3 years ago