Congratulations to Shawn Marion and the start of a long, long summer

Former Suns Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion finally won a championship. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Suns Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion finally won a championship. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

As Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki celebrate deliriously, it’s time for us to face the unfortunate fact that it could be some time before we see another NBA game.

Come July 1, the NBA will lock its players out and it’s anybody’s guess when play will resume. The owners and players are far apart as things stand, and everybody who loves the NBA can only hope this shortens the offseason and doesn’t run into the 2011-12 season (or cancel it altogether).

At this point the sides seem to be far enough apart that let’s just say I hope you enjoyed the incredible playoffs we just witnessed.

While the Suns of course have been dormant for two months now, all Phoenix fans must feel good for Shawn Marion. The Matrix played a superb defensive NBA Finals in limiting LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and finally gets his ring after so many years coming oh so close in Phoenix.

So long as you don’t still harbor resentment for how Jason Kidd left the Valley you’ve got to feel happy for him as well, and then there’s Dirk, who must have jumped a level in Bill Simmons’ pyramid of all-time great players. Dirk changed his legacy as a choke artist in the playoffs by putting the Mavs on his back and carrying them through an exhilarating run to the championship.

Right after the Spurs, the Mavs were the Suns’ biggest rivals during the heart of the Nash Era, with the teams splitting classic series in 2004-05 and 2005-06. These teams were linked by the large number of players that seemed to play for both teams at some point, starting with Nash, but as the Suns seem to be on the verge of rebuilding the veteran Mavericks finally reached the league’s pinnacle.

Don’t leave that bench, unless a timeout was called

The league is lucky the Mavericks won tonight or it might have quite the decision on its hands.

An altercation ensued during a second quarter timeout as both benches strolled onto the floor to greet their teammates that resulted in almost every player on both rosters in the middle of the court.

As everybody on Twitter reminded me, the difference between this and the Amare/Diaw situation that I can’t resist bringing up is that this occurred during a timeout when teams are allowed to come onto the floor.

But the rule was created to prevent a situation just like this where congestion in the middle of the court can escalate a fracas in a hurry.

League spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement that “a player will not automatically be suspended for leaving the bench if he has already left the bench because a timeout was called.”

I understand that it would be ridiculous to suspend critical players such as LeBron James who started to walk onto the court before the altercation even began. But it seems just as crazy to have suspended Amare and Diaw by strictly following the letter of the law even when they did nothing to escalate that incident but not to suspend players like Brian Cardinal and Joel Anthony who jumped right into the middle of the action in violation of the spirit of the law (Anthony sprinted into the picture looking for a fight!).

At this juncture it’s a moot point, but I would have hoped the league would have considered suspending at least an escalator like Anthony rather than sparing him because of the importance of the game.

Perhaps the funniest part for any Suns fan is that James Jones knew better than to leave the bench area as he was the only Heat player that didn’t charge onto the court. Perhaps he learned something as a member of the 2006-07 Suns.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Dallas Mavericks Shawn Marion

  • Marley


    Trade Nash for JJ Barrea!!!!

    He is the new Nash and can save the Suns!


  • Steve

    There is still hope for teams without a set of superfriends. Olajuwon did it twice. Nowitzki did it once (almost did it twice). I hate the Mavs, but this was really a victory for the Suns that the Heat lost. Teams don’t have to be built on collusion and playground stacking tactics.

    I am so happy to see the Heat fail (I couldn’t care less about the success of the Mavs, even past Suns players). Listening to their pompous arrogance was revolting. For every time Wade or James take them blame for their faults, they throw it back on the media, their haters and detractors, or their teammates. I think it’s funny that LeBron takes solace in the fact that his haters are back at work, in the grind right now, while he’s probably on a yacht, private jet, personal island, or in a mansion lined in gold… but does it really provide him solace to know that I’m better at my job than he is at his? Most of the people he trashed are better at their jobs because they actually seem to care about doing well. I don’t have a clue what LeBron cares about besides his brand and his fame (and he did a pretty poor job protecting those over the past week).

  • Mel.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Steve. I was actually shocked to see that Andy K. put the same sentiment into print, over at the Land O’Lakers; basically noting that NBA 2K11-style team stacking had been put to the test in this year’s playoffs (The Lakers, the Spurs, the Celtics, the Knicks, all franchises which had preceded the Heat in terms of building a top-heavy contender with two or three superstars and eight to ten roleplaying scrubs), and had been rejected in favor of what you might call an unquantifiable metric: desire, guts and heart.

    Of course, this was roundly responded to by the typical douchebag turncoat contingency–who are still convinced that D12′s coming to Los Angeles in swap for Artest and Luke Walton, and that CP3 and Deron will share time at the point, backing Kobe–but I have to say that his argument stands.

    Dallas’ win was the best possible outcome. Not only for the league, but for the game itself; as long as there’s teams like Memphis, Dallas and Chicago–potential spoilers based on the efforts of one superstar, whose profile and determination match their play–then there’s no certainty that the guy with the most guns will automatically be handed a ring.

    Dan Gilbert said it best: there are NO shortcuts.

  • Keith

    Totally agree. I actually like the Mavs, as long as they aren’t playing the Suns. They are one of the few teams in the NBA that are very fun to watch. A team that moves the ball, shoots crazy shots and doesn’t just play isolation and dunk the ball. They have other skills besides athleticism. For any Suns fan or Nash fan, they are a team we should adore. I was very happy for them and even for Marion and Kidd, whom I had a bit of vitriol for at one point in time and even for Terry, who’s a bit of a jerk. Anyway, my biggest thing is I’m happy someone new won the ‘ship. It’s pathetic how few teams have gotten it done. We need more parity. If a hard cap or something similar is the only way to do this, get it done. Something needs to change.

  • shazam

    its quantifiable….deep deep bench to wear out opposition w/ Defense…one go to player…it will be a new trend now that it has been proven to work and because its cheaper…these franchises are losing a lot of money

  • shazam

    i liked the mavs too but now that they have won…go cavs…unless up against phx

  • Daniel

    I’m honestly not sure why I should be upset at Jason Kidd. Was it the domestic violence thing (which obviously isn’t ideal but seemed more of something between him and his then wife), or that press conference he gave after he was traded (where he seemed to be upset that he wouldn’t be a Sun anymore)? Those are the only 2 things I can think of.

    Whatever the case, I was very happy for Kidd and Marion, who I do have a legitimate reason to be upset at (His trade demand led to that Shaq debacle that received so much praise) and I’ve never considered Dallas a bigger rival than LA or SA

    • Michael Schwartz

      Kidd also flipped off the Phoenix fans during his first visit back as a member of the Nets. They might not be as big a rival as the Lakers or Spurs, but they were a certifiable No. 3 during the middle of the last decade.