It seems like so long ago....

… when the Suns were still in battle mode, fighting their hardest for a chance to play for an NBA crown.

Alas, they were eliminated by the now-world champion Los Angeles Lakers, and nothing has been the same since.

Three weeks ago the Suns were the story of the NBA, a little engine that could kind of team led by a likable superstar in Steve Nash and a hardworking, deep supporting cast that shocked the league all the way to the conference finals.

Now the Suns are threatening to become one of the more intriguing stories of the summer via the way things are going up in flames.

The Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley writes today that owner Robert Sarver needs to step back. When a lifer like David Griffin who grew up as a Suns fan as a kid and then developed into a respected executive through the Suns’ organization informs Sarver he’s not interested in his dream job, you know there’s more to the story than what we know.

As we saw tonight and throughout the West Finals, the Lakers are a championship-caliber basketball team, the kind of squad the Suns can become only with a fantastic offseason.

But with the front office in shambles and everybody jumping ship, the Suns sure seem much further away from taking down the Lakers than they did three weeks ago.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ7O00ktLMQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

And 1

Suns assistant coach Igor Kokoskov will be welcomed as a US citizen at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony Friday in US Airways Center.

Kokoskov, a native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, became the first non-American coach in the history of the NBA back in 2000 when the Clippers (coached by Alvin Gentry) hired him as an assistant. He will take the Oath of Allegiance and then become an official citizen.

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Tags: David Griffin Los Angeles Lakers Robert Sarver

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