March 12, 2010, Newsletter Issue #440: Most Disappointing NBA Team

Tip of the Week

The obvious choice for most disappointing team in the NBA might be the 14-49 Washington Wizards. Or maybe even those perenial losers from out West, that OTHER Los Angeles team, the 15-48 L.A. Clippers. Or how about my Pistons, who after six straight conference finals, are barely keeping their heads above .500 ever since the Ivo-Billups trade.

While the before-mentioned teams might be the most disappointing to some, in my eyes, there is only one clear cut choice: The 2009 Phoenix Suns. The reason. Well it's not their 34-29 record, or the fact that they're currently clinging to the 9th spot in the West with no Amare for the rest of the year. No, they're the most disappointing because of what Steve Kerr has done to them these last two years. He took the most exciting, innovative team of our generation, and turned them into a Pat Riley dream team. And I'm not talking Riley's "Showtime" teams of the '80's. I'm talking '90's Riley. Grind you down, keep it under 90 points, bore you to death Riley. The Knicks and Heat Riley that we had to suffer through for the last two decades. For a guy like Riley, it made sense bringing in Shaquille O' Neil, but for Kerr to do that to Mike D'antoni??? That was unforgivable.

The "run-n-gun" Suns, are now the "ground-n-pound" Suns. Steve Kerr turned the New England Patriots of the NBA, into the Baltimore Ravens of the NBA. He took one of the purest, most enjoyable teams to watch, into...blah.

As Mark Jackson would say, "C'mon Steve Kerr. You're better than that!".

But don't get me wrong, I like Steve Kerr. He's a stand-up guy. I thought he handled the firing of Terry Porter very well, admitting his own failures as a General Manager, taking responsiblity for the team's struggles. I also liked him as a commentator for TNT during his four year stint there. And I respected him as a player during his 15 year NBA career (with the exception of the five years he spent with the Bulls of course). But what he's done to America's beloved Suns...that has been nothing short of a travesty.

Worst of all, Steve has managed to kill the "other" Steve in Phoenix. The one everybody DOESN'T hate right now. The two time M.V.P., future hall of fame point guard. That's right, Steve Nash, who, with the help of Mike D'antoni, totally revolutionized the game of basketball, running one of the most exciting offenses in league history. And if it wasn't for a corrupt refereeing job by Tim Donaghy in game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series in '07, or the subsequent bogus Stoudemire suspension in pivotal game 5 of the same series, we might be talking about the World Champion Suns. Instead we're talking about the boring, D'antoni-less, half-court Suns, void of any real three point shooters outside of Nash.

For this, I curse you Steve Kerr. I cursed you when you hit that jumper for the Bulls in the '97 finals, and I curse you now for taking the Phoenix Suns that we knew and loved away from us.

R.I.P. Phoenix Suns(2004-2008)


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