It’s been over 15 years since May 9, 1993, but I remember that day like yesterday.
It was the day I became a Phoenix Suns fan.
On that sunny Sunday afternoon, every man, woman and child in the Valley of the Sun was glued to their TV sets to see if the Suns could complete a comeback from two games down in the “Westphal Guarantee” series against the Lakers. It took them overtime, about the time I started watching, but history of course tells us they prevailed.
Then the Suns knocked out the Spurs in six games on Barkley’s face-up jumper on David Robinson in the clincher and the Sonics in seven when Sir Charles exploded for 44 and 24 in Game 7.
By this point 7-year-old me had become a full-fledged member of the purple and orange bandwagon.
In the 1993 Finals, the Suns ran into the Chicago Bulls dynasty and gave Michael Jordan and Co. the best test of any of their three-peats. Phoenix won a triple-overtime thriller in Game 3 and kept the champagne on ice in Chicago in Game 5, but when John Paxson sunk that fateful game-winning 3 in Game 6, I felt the biting sting of a championship season derailed.
As my Lakers fan friends like to often remind me (yes I regrettably admit it, I have some friends who cheer for the Lakers), this would not be the last time I felt such pain, from the Barkley Era to Nash. The Suns have come oh so close enough times to make my head spin in the ensuing 15 seasons, but as we all know they have never won the franchise’s elusive first championship.
As the Suns embark on their 41st NBA season aiming to bring home that first title, ValleyoftheSuns.com will be there every step of the way, providing commentary, analysis and news updates on anything and everything Suns basketball, delving into realms beyond the scope of the daily newspapers.
And when they finally do bring home the hardware?
May 9, 1993, won’t be the first date I think of when discussing my Suns fanhood.