Do the Phoenix Suns plan on tanking the season for a second year in a row? After watching their poor performance against the Sacramento Kings in their season opener (the Suns lost 113-94), a lot of displeasing questions began to surface around the true intentions of owner Robert Sarver and the Suns organization. Rumor the notion, if the Suns tank this season, they can position themselves better for the upcoming NBA Draft. Maybe this idea sounds good to the organization, but to the ticket-paying fans who want nothing more than to support a winning team, this course of action would be unexciting and very unappealing to watch. Long gone are the days of Jerry Colangelo, Cotton Fitzsimmons, and mediocre Suns basketball.
Are the Phoenix Suns Tanking Again?
“I have a basic philosophy that I’ve tried to follow during my coaching career. Whether you’re winning or losing, it’s important to always be yourself. You can’t change because of the circumstances around you,” former Suns head coach Cotton Fitzsimmons once said.
Looking At The Big Picture
Phoenix’s current head coach, Earl Watson, has his hands full with this lineup, as he tries somehow to answer questions, rearrange roster positions, and structure a reliable starting five. To add to his quandary, Watson’s responsibilities include finding a way to make the system work.
The Suns have young talent for the coach to work with, as they added rookies Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and Tyler Ulis to the lineup. But what about veteran guard Brandon Knight? Will Knight be a valid asset with his new role as “sixth man” for the team? Did adding veterans Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa in the off-season benefit the team’s chances in any way? Will second-year sensation Devin Booker continue to start? Do the Suns still need a big man? Doesn’t guard Isaiah Thomas look great now in a Boston Celtics uniform? For now, for coach Watson and his staff, the questions far outweigh the answers.
Talking Stick Arena was sold out on opening night of the Suns new NBA season. Suns fans were more than just excited to watch their new team perform against the Kings. But the disappointment level felt afterward — after the seemingly effortless loss — was nearly too much to choke down.
Suns fans have known for many years that rebuilding a winning team takes excessive time, great effort, and tremendous amounts of patience. Granted, the season is very, very young, but if Sarver and the Suns organization plan to fill seats and reap the rewards of great success as early as this year, there must be a winning team out on the court. For Suns fans, even to have a mediocre team to root for, one that finishes somewhere near the bottom of the playoff bracket, would be a gratifying change of pace.
December 31, 2015: Phoenix Suns Guard Devin Booker (1)  goes up for 2 pints while Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook (0)  and Oklahoma City Thunder Forward Serge Ibaka (9)  plays defense at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)