Steve Kerr to call Phoenix Suns' outdoor game against the Dallas Mavericks

Steve Kerr will provide insightful commentary on the Suns during their outdoor game against the Mavericks.

Tonight is the first chance for Phoenix Suns fans to watch their team in action during the annual outdoor game at the Indian Wells (Calif.) Tennis Garden pitting the Suns against the Dallas Mavericks at 6:30 p.m. MST on TNT, but the man I am most interested in watching — or I should say listening to — is former GM Steve Kerr.

Kerr, who spoke with about his transition and other topics on Friday, will be making his re-debut with TNT tonight as he provides color commentary on the matchup, but Kerr of course is no average color commentator.

As you well know, he spent the past three seasons calling the shots in Phoenix before deciding to leave the team this offseason and take a position at TNT that he had held for four years prior to joining the Suns.

The job of the color guy is to add in-depth analysis to help the fans at home see the game clearer and deeper. I could not think of a single person on this earth who could do a better job of telling the viewers stuff they don’t know about the Suns than Kerr himself.

This will be the case for all Suns games Kerr calls this season, a fairly awkward situation for him since he will be discussing players that he himself brought in, but I expect him to handle it professionally and avoid the temptation of ripping anybody in the organization for any differences he may have had on his way out.

Who better to discuss the development of Earl Clark than the GM who drafted him and spent a season analyzing his development firsthand and who better to talk about where the organization may be headed without Amare than the man making that contingency plan himself his last few months on the job.

Perhaps Kerr can even shine some light on what ailed the Suns in their embarrassing loss to the Raptors on Wednesday and what Alvin Gentry might be looking for from each of his guys as he attempts to figure out his rotation.

There’s also the added mystique of this being an outdoor game. It’s always kind of fun to watch NBA players struggle with the same elements that so many of us who play pickup ball at the park have to deal with.

The Suns shot just 40 percent in last year’s outdoor game against Golden State and even worse the previous year against Denver, so these conditions won’t be particularly helpful to a squad that hit just 14.7 percent of its shots from distance (5-for-34) in its first two games.

According to The Arizona Republic, tipoff temperature is expected to be a balmy 85 degrees, so at least cold weather won’t be a factor.

As for the game itself, I’m interested to see how the Suns react to being blown out so badly. Sure it was a preseason game that doesn’t matter, but a loss like that must be eating at their pride just a bit.

And 1

Steve Nash has never hesitated to stick up for what he believes in, and he’s done that again by speaking out about homophobic bullying, as LZ Granderson writes. … Thank God for Deadspin for providing us with video of this humorous exchange between Grant Hill and Reggie Evans in Wednesday’s preseason game. … Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said “everything’s fine” after he collapsed at Friday’s practice and was taken to the hospital, but he will not be joining the team for tonight’s game against the Suns. Dwane Casey will coach the Mavs instead.

Tags: Outdoor Game Steve Kerr

  • Dan

    I’m so looking forward to the game tonight… Also, this may be off topic but have you heard anything about the Dampier meeting Michael?

  • Michael Schwartz

    I have not. We know what the Suns can offer both in terms of minutes and salary, so I suppose now it’s just up to Damp trying to decide what’s the best situation for him.

  • Tyler

    I offer these reflections on a Saturday night where basketball has not yet become important, baseball is pretending that it shouldn’t have it’s playoffs in August, and football actually has the monopoly on the sets in homes across America.

    The Suns took the court this evening against the Nowitzki-less Mavs in an outside exhibition game in Palm Springs, CA. Some thoughts:

    1) I am decidedly unexcited about Hedo Turkoglu after the game tonight. He went 1-6 and finished with 3 points, 1 turnover. During the first quarter, we saw him stand around the perimeter and chuck three jumpers, unsuccessfully. Hedo, I like you and am pulling for you. I know the shots will fall eventually. It just didn’t look like you cared much.

    2) I am decidedly super excited for the other eight athletes that Steve Nash gets to through the ball to. Right about the time that the Suns second unit (which may be better than their first unit) came in, the Mavs heads began to spin so fast that you actually saw them wonder out loud how many offensive weapons could possibly come off of one bench. There was one stretch of the game where Josh Childress, Jared Dudley, Hakim Warrick, and Channing Frye literally looked like kids in the schoolyard dominating the other team, full of kids that were picked last.

    3) When the Suns starters came back in, they apparently had learned from the bench how to play. Lopez becomes the new pick and roll partner for Nash, and in some ways it’s even more executable than Stoudemire’s. Lopez has several inches on STAT and there were times that Nash was able just to pass the ball towards the rim and Fropez was just taller than everybody else. On one play, Nash and Lopez created a pick and roll, Nash looked off the defenders towards (the slumping) Turkoglu, the defenders started towards Turkuglo, and Nash effortlessly lobbed the ball to a streaking Robin “Boy Wonder” Lopez. It was as pretty a play as I have ever seen Nash make.

    4) Grant Hill was the game’s leading scorer, with 16. The Fountain of Youth is absolutely located in some cavern beneath the city of Phoenix.

    5) With all this other offensive prowess going on, defenses are just going to forget about J-Rich. He looked as young and explosive in this win as I’ve ever seen him. Dunks, jumpshots, breaks, that guy is not done playing hoop yet and opposing defenses will fall asleep on him, trying to track everyone else.

    6) Childress has awesome hair. My wife (who doesn’t watch basketball) said, “Who’s that guy? Is he new?” You know a guy is special if she picks him out of the crowd. The last guy she took note of was Shawn Marion, and we all know how I felt about him. (It was a love-hate thing: he almost ran me over with his Matrix Hummer, I tried to hang out with him at the club.)

    I guess that’s about it for one night. The Suns (ranked 9th in the West in most polls) are going to be by far the deepest team in the NBA. And no, this is not a Bill Walton prediction. They have 5 guys that can shoot the lights out. Dragic can flat out run the team these days. This team’s basketball IQ is through the roof. And they now have several guys that can jump out of the gym (a.k.a, Childress, Warrick, Clarke, Lawal). They are 10-11 guys deep, easy. If we had to go post-Stoudemire, this is the way to go. You put an Erick Dampier in the mix and look out. 9th in the West? Forget about it. I feel another Cinderella season coming on!

  • Pingback: Phoenix Suns win first preseason game by defeating the Mavericks | Valley of the Suns

  • Steve

    As far as the bullying thing goes, I have a little to say. I don’t want to start a debate or anything, but I thought it’s important to note a couple of things:

    The term “homophobia” is quite derrogatory to those who don’t agree that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, especially in the way it is defined. Homophobia is defined as “IRRATIONAL” fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. They actually put the term “irrational” in the dictionary to go along with that definition, demonizing anyone who might thing that homosexuality is not right. While I completely disagree with anyone who would persecute homosexuals for their sexual preference, I equally disagree with everyone who generalize that all those who disagree with homosexuality are “irrational.” Many people have very strong reasons for disagreeing with homosexuality that are rooted in the moral codes that have been ingrained in them through society and through religion. Society changes all the time, but religion is more traditional. And many of the same people who would say that religious people need to accept homosexuality would also say we need to practice religious tolerance. Well, some religions believe homosexuality is wrong… how can the situation be solved? If people are allowed to believe what they want to believe and practice what they want to practice, why is anyone who disagrees with homosexuality “irrational” when many of their beliefs are founded in something that drives and defines their lifestyle?

    My whole point in this is to say that we all want everyone to be treated with love. And anyone who bullies homosexuals is certainly wrong. But not everyone who disagrees with homosexuality hates homosexuals. People tend to forget that.