San Antonio Spurs 102, Phoenix Suns 91 — More crunch time mishaps

Posted by on January 15th, 11:55 pm

Tony Parker and the Spurs got the best of Nash and the Suns when the Suns' offense stalled in crunch time once again. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Tony Parker and the Spurs got the best of Nash and the Suns when the Suns' offense stalled in crunch time once again. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

The Suns began a new road trip yet encountered a familiar problem Sunday night in San Antonio, as lack of crunch time execution prevented Phoenix from stealing a game in the Alamo City.

The Suns trailed by as many as 18 a minute into the second half, but roared back to cut the lead to five with 5:28 on a Gortat basket. After Nash answered a Tim Duncan basket with a bucket of his own with 4:41 left, the Suns suffered through six consecutive scoreless trips over the next three and a half minutes while watching the Spurs score a trio of baskets to salt away their 102-91 victory.

Crunch time issues have been the story of Phoenix’s now four-game losing streak. Even the Lakers game was reasonably close, as Schmitz broke down exactly what went wrong from the time the Suns trailed that contest by one with six minutes left.

Tonight’s six-possession drought featured a Nash turnover, two missed shots from Two Time, two Dudley misses and a Markieff Morris clanked three-pointer. This slump was more about lack of execution than anything as all were good shots except for Dudley’s attempt in the paint over a pair of defenders, and Nash appeared to be fouled on his turnover.

However, give the Suns credit for even making this a game they could blow in crunch time as an early 20-4 run put San Antonio in control from the opening minutes. The Spurs extended that lead to 17 after a 13-3 second quarter run after the Suns had fought back.

“It was an uphill battle,” said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. “The game would’ve been an even game if we would’ve put ourselves in an opportunity to make it interesting. Once again, we dug ourselves a hole as we spend most of our time trying to get ourselves out of it.”

Nash and Gortat were the shovels that allowed the Suns to come so close near the end.

Gortat shook off a rough start by scoring 24 points and bringing down a season-high 15 rebounds while hitting 11 of his 20 shots. He was often the recipient of Nash passes, particularly off the pick-and-roll, as Two Time put up a Nashian line of 20 points and 10 assists.

Clearly The Polish Hammer’s broken thumb hindered him quite a bit in the early going, as after averaging a mere 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds on 52.6 percent shooting in his first five games he’s produced like a franchise center in his last seven with averages of 18.0 points and 10.3 boards on ridiculous 65.9 percent shooting.

Gortat has now reached double figures in rebounding in four straight and has shot over 50 percent in seven in a row and 10 of 12 overall to lead the entire NBA in field goal shooting by a good margin.

Nash continued his superb work in January as he’s now averaging 16 and 11.4 this month after a weak injured December in which he averaged 8.3 and 7.8. Nash is tied with Rajon Rondo for the NBA assists lead at 10.1 a game yet he plays six and a half minutes less than the Celtics’ star.

“Yeah, they played great as Marcin is getting better and Steve had a lot of zip tonight though he’s still not feeling great,” Gentry said. “I thought he played well as I thought at the end he ran out of gas a little bit as he also got hit. I thought we did a great job of reading situations in the game and using the pick and roll at appropriate times with Steve making the shot.

“We’re still not shooting it like we’re capable of and we’re not scoring like we’re capable of, but the shots were there. We just have to get the confidence to step up and knock them down.”

That may be true, but on this night that only applies to a select group of Suns. Channing Frye (seven attempts), Michael Redd (four), Robin Lopez (three) and Hakim Warrick (two) combined to miss all 16 of their shots. Take that quartet out of the equation and the Suns shot well enough to win the game, just over 50 percent.

There were certainly bright spots beyond the Suns’ best two players as Markieff Morris continued his solid rookie season with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, Ronnie Price dished seven assists in 13 minutes to give Phoenix 17 assists from the point guard spot and Jared Dudley went for 12 and eight.

After their early struggles, these Suns helped the team fight back late, yet once again they could not execute when it counted.

“Can’t keep spotting good teams leads,” Dudley tweeted. “We gotta stay mentality focused and positive on and off the court. We haven’t put it together yet but it will come, just have to keep plugging away (in) practice and games to grasp some chemistry and understanding on what we’re trying to do.”

The Suns have only just begun a trip that will span 6,072 miles over a week and a half, but they better put it together soon if they want to return home with any optimism.

And 1

  • Gentry during a second-half timeout: “We’ve got to do it like we used to do it, ball’s out of the basket, going in quickly, we’re pushing it down.” Good times, good times.
  • It’s no longer news when Josh Childress gets a DNP-CD as he did tonight, but Warrick joined him on the bench for all but six minutes of this contest while Redd played just 13 and Dudley (36) and Shannon Brown (24) got their usual time. Frye also played just 18 minutes to Morris’ 25 as the rookie outplayed him.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Marcin Gortat · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap · San Antonio Spurs · Steve Nash

101 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Tom Chambers in his commentary has been talking about some of the same points I mention: lack of aggression and the need to get inside, the need to get to the free throw line.

    I thought Brown was one of the more dependable players in this game, but he still had only 10 points and no free throw attempts.

    The +/- leaders in the game were Morris, Lopez, Brown, and Redd. Lopez (1 of 2 FT for 1 pt) and Redd (2 pts, 1 reb) really didn’t do much, though. Morris had 14 pts and 3 rebounds, the effect of which was partially canceled by also committing 4 TOs.

    Worst +/- stats belong to Gortat, Dudley, Hill, and Nash. So while Gortat and Dudley were scoring and getting to the line a little bit, and Nash scored 20 and had 10 assists, the team was at the same time inadequate against the Spurs’ starters by a gap of about 10 points.

    To me this means a barely breathing 2nd unit was able to keep pace with the 2nd unit of the Spurs, but the Suns’ starters were unable to keep pace with their counterparts. (Hill and Frye were nearly absent on offense.)

    The Suns also went to the line 14 times compared to 23 for the Spurs. There was a 7 pt differential right there.

  • 2 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Well, another Suns game, another Suns loss. At least the team is putting forth maximum effort. They just don’t have the consistency they need to win many games. It seems like one game it’s their rebounding that’s a problem, then the next it’s their lack of defense, or the following game bad shooting.

    John Barry said tonight what I’ve been saying since this season started, that the team doesn’t have good shooters, besides Nash of course. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a team relying on jump shooting with players that can’t shoot, is not going to be a successful team. This notion that the Suns players aren’t shooting to their potential is false. They are shooting as based on their ability. Other than Nash, this team just doesn’t have any really good shooters. Adding to that, Frye and Dudley, arguably the team’s other best shooters, are so inconsistent that you cannot expect to rely on them and win games.

    I thought this was the game the Suns had to have if they were going to have even just a decent road trip. Judging by how Nash looked at the end of the game, I think Gentry should concede the next game against the Bulls and rest Nash and Hill and have them ready for the following game against the Knicks the next night.

    Michael, any chance you can get an interview with either Sarver or Babby to get their perspective on the Suns season so far? Or, are they already in hiding? I would love to hear their bs take and how they are prepared to make big signings in the off-season. Yea right!

  • 3 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:42 am

    BTW, my impression is that Frye and Morris aren’t spreading the defense all that much, because it isn’t leading to inside scoring.

  • 4 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:54 am

    i base this on nothing but hunch(def. not stats)…michael redd and keef will turn in to starters with in a month…gortat will slay the league for years now..he played fantastic the other night when price was the starter he doesnt have to have the 2 time feeds anymore..i do think steve helped w/ marcins confidence …nash is a gold mine if you dont play him 1 second over 22 minutes and rest him a game on back to backs…anything more is a complete minus and we need more so trade him.same w/ hill

  • 5 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

    @Tony -

    ESPN stats has Dudley shooting 3s this year about 10% below last year, which is basically the difference between a good shooter and a not-so-good shooter.

    Brown’s 3 pt shooting is also about 10% lower than last year.

    Frye is about 4% off, but he’s been very streaky. Ironically, when he’s “en fuego” he typically gets like 3 shots anyway. They don’t milk him when he’s hot, unlike last year.

    Hill’s shooting is way off. He’s down 15% on FG and over 30% on 3P%. Right now, Childress is actually better than Hill on offense, due to his low shot usage.

    Warrick is shooting about the same percentage, but he doesn’t get on the court much, and when he’s on the court he doesn’t get the ball in good position to score.

    Nash is shooting about the same, and Gortat is actually about 6% better than last year.

    So in that sense, yeah, the Suns have no shooters this year, aside from Nash, Gortat, and rookie Morris, who is hitting a sizzling 56% from 3.

  • 6 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:31 am

    @shazam -

    Turning Morris into a starter as a rookie is a distinct possibility, and one I forecast even before Morris was drafted. However, things will be tougher for him as a starter, as he plays against higher quality opposition, and switching him for Frye doesn’t necessarily improve the dynamics for either the starters or the bench.

    What I’d like to see Gentry do is pull Hill and Frye early in the first quarter, replace them with Dudley and Morris, and put Brown in at SG. At the moment, that’s the Suns’ best unit. Then bring Hill and Frye in with the 2nd unit, and see if they can be more effective there.

    Redd is probably about a month from showing us the best we might expect to see from him. He’s in the equivalent of week 1 of pre-season after an abnormally short training camp. He got 13 minutes of play against the Spurs, when I’d still rather see him get 10 or less. He doesn’t look to me like he’s really ready to play yet, and I’d rather have the Suns win than give Redd more minutes.

  • 7 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

    In terms of Hollinger’s PER rating, the Suns are ranked as:

    Gortat 23.84
    Nash 21.44
    Warrick 18.03
    Morris 17.92
    Dudley 14.04
    ——- (you could have a starting 5 right there)
    Telfair 13.98
    Frye 13.52
    Price 13.11
    Brown 11.71
    Lopez 8.96
    Hill 8.91
    Childress 7.89
    Redd 6.04

  • 8 Mel. // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:10 am

    As painful as this was to watch, it throws the legitimacy of the team’s situation into reflection: unlike a talent-packed squad that simply lacks initiative–thinking of the Knicks or the Kings, par example’–the Suns are playing their asses off, and still getting flattened.

    By the time this road trip’s concluded, it’s going to be the biggest splash of cold water that the higher-ups have had to face in a while, particularly about the “party line” that keeps being recited. We saw this same thing last year–solid players, a decent coaching approach, occasional flashes of brilliance and potential–but the lost opportunities could be padded out as being symptomatic of the whole STAT hangover… that honeymoon’s over, and the “potential chemistry vs. actual ceiling of the current roster and what the hell the front office are doing” question is beginning to sink into the fans’ consciousness like a lead balloon.

    We crank Sarver for his buffoonery and his overbearing interest in a salient bottom line, so there’s at least some slim hope that the threat to that will motivate SOMETHING in terms of forward planning. It’s also going to be interesting to see how long Nash’s pro-PHX patriotism and sense of loyalty can hold out; at this point, there isn’t a person in Arizona who would hold a match against him for giving up on the British Captain’s “down with the ship” philosophy, and flexing some selfishness in looking out for his own few remaining seasons as a contributor.

    Of course, that doesn’t credit his willingness to sacrifice, and sacrifice, and sacrifice some more. It would just be nice to get a sense that it was actually going towards some kind of identifiable END.

  • 9 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Since those number probably don’t mean much by themselves. here are the PER ratings for the starters for the Spurs:

    Blair 20.49
    Parker 19.66
    Duncan 19.32
    Leonard 16.84
    Jefferson 15.06

    Avg: 18.27

    Suns starters vs Spurs:

    Gortat 23.84
    Nash 21.44
    Dudley 14.04
    Frye 13.52
    Hill 8.91

    Avg: 16.35

    The Nets:

    Humphries 19.88
    Brooks 19.36
    Williams 17.64
    Morrow 15.26
    Okur 9.18

    Avg: 16.26

    Suns starters vs the Nets:

    Gortat 23.84
    Dudley 14.04
    Frye 13.52
    Price 13.11
    Brown 11.71

    Avg: 15.24

  • 10 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Well said Mel, I couldn’t agree more.

    It’s just such a shame that only two seasons ago this Suns franchise went 6 games against the LA Lakers in the WCFs and now they have been reduced to what we see before our eyes. All of the Suns misery could have easily been avoided and that’s what makes it so frustrating.

    Nash doesn’t seem to be too upset with losing at this point in his career. I guess for Nash, winning at this point is just a bonus not a requisite. That’s the only thing I can think of as to why he would be willing to stay on this horrible team and expend so much effort into a losing cause. It’s not even that this team is a fringe playoff team where at least they would be competitive, they are much worse. This Suns team will likely finish 13th or 14th in the western conference. That has to be embarrassing for him.

  • 11 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:53 am

    @Mel -

    I think the Suns are aware of the problems. However, being aware of the problems and being able to find a way out are two different things.

    Suns fans might have been a bit misled, I imagine, by all the local articles that came out at the start of the season suggesting that the Suns would have an edge over other teams due to a chemistry carry-over from last year that other teams would lack.

    National prognosticators, however, gave the Suns slim hope of reaching the playoffs, and at the moment this looks closer to the actual scenario.

  • 12 Elviro (Italy) // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

    ….I foresee a long eclipse of the suns ….

  • 13 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:54 am


    What could have been “prevented” about the demise of the 2010 WCF team (a team that had a completely lucky run btw, getting a decimated Portland in the first round and a terribly overrated Spurs team in the second round)?

    You act as if Nash wouldn’t have aged, Hill would have stayed young, Frye would have become a consistent shooter, Amare’s current injury woes wouldn’t have happened (and if you’re going to credit the warlocks for that, then can you credit Sarver for holding onto the warlocks?)…

    The WCF run was a fluke. I knew it when it happened, and so did every other realistic Suns fan I know. I don’t know a SINGLE Suns fan who put money on the Suns beating the Lakers (the first decent team they played that postseason), and I know plenty – including myself – who did wager on the Lakers winning that series and the title. I had the Suns in 7 over Portland, Suns sweeping the Spurs, Lakers in 6 over the Suns, Lakers in seven over the Celtics. Any honest evaluation of the teams would have led you to a similar conclusion. The point: the Suns weren’t good enough to win the championship that year.

    You keep on harping that an owner’s only purpose should be to win a championship. That team could not have accomplished that, so why keep it together? And why try to minorly tweak a roster when the three most valuable components of the team are either past or near their primes?

    I know all your anger is because you’re a Suns fan. I don’t question that. What I do question is your assumption that every single decision ever made by anyone in the Suns front office (not just Sarver, because in all honesty, no owner really micro-manages his team to the extent we pretend) is the worst decision the franchise has ever seen.

    From my perspective, there isn’t a whole lot that could have happened differently over the past five to eight years for the Suns EXCEPT for the the draft pick fiasco, and some of those are still somewhat questionable anyway. Obviously anyone would have wanted Rondo and Deng from the draft, but Gortat and was a late second-rounder, Fernandez isn’t anything special… I know I’m missing another big name but I can’t think of it right now. The draft has been a huge mess (not because we’re picking the wrong guys, but because we don’t take the time to develop our youngsters). I’ll agree with you all day long about the draft.

    I can’t agree with you about most of your other complaints.

    So, you said, “All of the Suns misery could have easily been avoided and that’s what makes it so frustrating.”

    How “easily” could it have been avoided? And once you figure that out, tell me how an aging 2010 WCF loser could have turned into a championship team.

  • 14 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:59 am


    I think you’re right. But this type of thing happens to all teams in the NBA, even the Lakers and Celtics. Every team has down years. Hopefully this terrible basketball won’t go past 2013-2014.

    I think that something a lot of our bandwagon-mentality fans in the Phoenix area miss is that every single franchise in every single sport has down years. The New York Yankees don’t even make the playoffs every year. The New England Patriots hadn’t won a playoff game in 5 years until Saturday. Liverpool (a franchise just as storied as ManU) isn’t top 4 in the EPL. No franchise in any sport is immune to this. Everyone must suffer for a time. It’s the cycle of sports.

  • 15 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Let’s see- what could have happened differently to prevent the demise of the 2010 team…hmmm…

    Offer Amar’e a legitimate contract instead of the garbage one $arv tried to pass off as a typical NBA contract.

    Keep Goran instead of giving him & a draft pick away for a player who runs off to China leaving the team w/out a backup PG.

    Not lose JRich because you have to get rid of the Hedon’t never was/is/or will be a PF fiasco that idiot Blabby created as a “noble experiment”.

    And as if all that wasn’t enough, by all means, let’s overpay and give longterm contracts to some so-so players you’re competing with ?who? to sign.

    Yep, that all adds up to this trainwreck we’re all enjoying now. And yes, that could all have been avoided and pretending that this front office isn’t the 3 Stooges and that this is all just the normal “cycle of sports” boggles my mind.

    And please don’t assume fans who don’t buy into an apologist approach for $arv & his minions are band wagoneers.

  • 16 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

    forget the 2010 team..they never were going to win it all…when it comes to a chance at a championship…elvis left the building when we traded joe johnson

  • 17 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    To each point:

    Amare wasn’t staying. He wanted to go to NY. Plus, we offered him a couple million less with the added stipulation that he actually PLAYS in order to get paid. He didn’t even have to play well. He just had to play. I think that’s fair, especially considering how mediocre he has been for the past half-season plus. No mistake here, and even if we had kept Amare, there’s no being sure he wouldn’t have regressed like he has with the Knicks.

    Getting rid of Goran I don’t have much of a problem. Let’s face it, Goran Dragic will never be a star in this league. Getting rid of the draft pick I have a HUGE problem with. But… would Norris Cole have made this team a contender or got them over the hump? Really?

    JRich produced Gortat. Gortat is a MUCH better player than Richardson (especially with Richardson beginning to show his age, his athleticism isn’t able to create for him as much). I know we gave Gortat away for nothing when we had his original draft pick, but getting Gortat back is not a mistake. It’s probably the best decision the franchise has made in the past few years.

    I agree we shouldn’t have signed guys like Childress and Warrick (and Frye and Dudley, for that matter). But would NOT signing those guys have made this team a contender, as you assume? I doubt that. They HAD to add someone. So, if they had to sign guys, you have to say who else they could have signed that would have been a better option before you just bash them for the signings that were made.

    I’m not assuming that everyone who hates Sarver and lets that lead to them bashing every single move the franchise ever makes is a bandwagon fan. However, I can say that virtually ALL of the people who were buying tickets when we were good and now aren’t buying tickets are the same types of people who would blame everything on Sarver and the rest of the front office. Negative Nancies are the bandwagoners, and Negative Nancies will always look to point the finger rather than ride out the storm.

    Your move (btw, my point isn’t to prove that management has made EVERY right move. My point is that there are two sides to every coin, and often times, the results can’t be foreseen at the time decisions were made).

  • 18 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    @shazam – I still don’t think keeping Johnson would have resulted in a championship, as I don’t think any of those past teams were good enough to win a championship either. However, I think you’re right that our chance left with Johnson, I would just add that it left with Johnson and our failure to acquire a competent big man to complement Amare. Nash, Johnson, Marion, Amare, and Terrible Big X under the SSOL system still had one gigantic problem… no defense. I don’t care how good our offense was, we weren’t going to win a championship with that putrid defense.

  • 19 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    as you know steve i will turn on you some day …my nic name is the bi-polar bear… tho i have to agree with you 100 percent :)

  • 20 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Steve, do you know Amar’e personally? If not, how do you know he wasn’t staying? Just curious. Also, how do you know who hasn’t/isn’t buying Suns tickets currently? Or could it be you are just making assumptions?

    Also, is the criteria to be a competent backup PG to be a “star in this league” ? And I do agree that getting Gortat was a good thing but everything that went before it that led to getting him “back” (including selling him to Orlando for $350,000 originally) was atrocious. And that goes to my original point that where the Suns are today has been a compendium of blunders by an incompetent arrogant owner & his yes-men minions.

  • 21 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    If Amare wanted to stay in Phoenix he could have accepted the deal that would have equaled the same money (assuming he is healthy enough to play). I say he wasn’t staying in Phoenix because the Suns made him a fair offer, and he declined it for the ONE other team in the league who even bothered to pursue him as a max player. Amare wasn’t worth the max, and 29 teams in the league knew it.

    The ticket thing is obviously an assumption. I don’t know the 17,000 people who attended every game in the past, and I don’t know the 13,000 people that are attending every game now. But, as with any sport in the Phoenix area, ticket sales go down when the team isn’t performing well. Do you think it’s the bandwagon fans or the hardcore fans that aren’t buying those tickets? This one isn’t that hard.

    Goran wasn’t even all that “competent” in a Suns uni. He showed flashes of brilliance, but overall his game was pretty poor. And just so you don’t say I’m making assumptions, here are his PER and WS48 numbers in a Suns uni:


    Below average in every category in every year. How exactly is Goran the reason this team is struggling?

    I agree that Sarver is arrogant, but I find it funny that so many Suns fans are willing to put the blame on him when, in reality, most owners aren’t all that hands on with their teams. I don’t know if either of us really knows the details of Sarvers involvement in these decisions outside of making the front office hires and signing checks. Yet, it’s all Sarver’s fault when things go south, and there is NOTHING to Sarver’s credit when the team makes 3 WCF’s under his watch.

    Can none of you haters see the hyprocrisy in that?

    Again, I really don’t like Sarver as a person, and I think he’s an average or maybe slightly below average owner in the NBA (mostly due to incessantly hiring first-timers to his front office), but I can’t just stand by while so many people put ALL of the blame where only some of it belongs.

    And should we not mention the players? Is it Sarver who is telling our guys not to box out? Is it Sarver who has instructed the players to never dive for a loose ball? Has Sarver told each player personally to avoid playing solid help defense and fill the passing lanes? Has Sarver mandated that no one is allowed to drive to contact and get to the line?

    Seriously people, I’m trying to be a little more care-free with this Suns-stuff, but you make it so hard.

  • 22 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I like Scott’s idea of pulling Hill and Frye early in the first quarter, replace them with Dudley and Morris, and putting Brown in at SG. And I’m really starting to like Price. Only 3 pts last night but 7 assists, 2 rebs and 2 stls in only 13 mins. He may never evolve into a starting PG in the NBA but I think he is a great backup. Frye played a horrible 18 mins (0 pts, 2 rebs, 2 PFs).

    I think the Suns rotation should split the PG mins between Nash and Price enough to keep Steve’s mins at or under 30 per night, give Gortat, Morris, Dudley and Brown most of the mins at C, PF, SF and SG. Bring Hill, Frye and Lopez in for limited mins. I still don’t know about Redd. If he can produce, bring him into the rotation and move Dudley back to the SF spot for good whether they start him or bring him in off the bench after Hill has played 5-6 mins.

    Lol, but what do I really know? It’s fun to speculate but if I or anyone else really had “the answers” then we would be coaching or a GM in the NBA.

  • 23 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Btw, Marcin Gortat was the 27th pick in the second round (57th overall). This is an ASSUMPTION, but I would bet that the chances of the 57th overall pick being in the league for more than 5 years as an AVERAGE player in the league (PER 15, WS48 0.100, those types of numbers) is less than 5%. And if I wasn’t putting money on it, I would assume the number is somewhere around 2%. For all we know, Marcin might be the first 57th pick that has turned into anything worthwhile.

    That said, I still don’t think we should sell our picks. I’m just pointing that out because NO ONE would have guessed that the 57th pick in the draft could have resulted in a potential all-star. At the point when Marcin was drafted, we thought we had a contender. Why fill up space on the roster with a goofy Pollack who is never going to make it in the league? (at least that was thinking at the time)

    In some ways, I can’t really blame them for that (and I can pretty much guarantee that wasn’t Sarver’s call. What billionaire really cares about an extra $350k?)

  • 24 Mel. // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Without flipping open a ledger or paper clippings from the summer of 2010, I recall that the major bone of contention with STAT’s offer sheet was that:

    *Sarver’s offer was five to eight million dollars under the maximum contract that the Knicks were offering.

    *The Suns wanted option years towards the end of the contract, as an insurance policy.

    *The Suns also wanted some manner of bailout clause, in the case that STAT’s knees turned to ash before the fifth year came around.

    Aside from the inexplicable “nickel and diming” issue in point one–made even worse by the fact that the office then saw fit to rain fliff on a bunch of stopgap contracts, out of panic (and due to an absolutely gash FA market)–history appears to be bearing out the logic in points two and three. I miss Beast Mode Amar’e, I think he looks weird in an NYK jersey and I’ll always be thankful for what he did for the team, but… seriously. All those issues that were supposed to be alleviated by his vaunted move to a big-city market are still present: he’s still inconsistent when it comes to embracing his skills, his statlines are still disarmingly mediocre, and there’s a number of injuries that are allegedly cookin’ under the proverbial hood.

    If he’s still in Phoenix, then NONE of what he’s currently doing in New York–with the benefit of a supposed “big three,” and the same mishmash of role-players that he would have on the current Suns roster–would change any of this. At best, we’d have a slightly less-mediocre record without any legitimate late-round playoff prospects, and a player who would likely be openly regretting having re-signed with a team which… shocking, I know… is getting older, and whose management doesn’t appear to have much of a contingency plan for what to do next.

    And mind you, I’m still not advocating some nuclear burnout of the current roster or proposing some highfallutin plan to get back into contention–I’ll openly admit that I have no clue how that happens, in the current NBA economic climate–but I’d still like to get some sense of concern from those in charge. The ongoing “well, once we get into a playing gear and the shots begin to fall” philosophy is probably a good band-aid for locker room morale, but it’s going to get REALLY dull, come April.

  • 25 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Whether you like or dislike Mark Cuban you have to admit that he CARES about his team beyond the financial “bottom line”. I’m not sure if Sarver knows the difference between a jump shot and a jump ball. But that may be more common in NBA owners than most people think. Sarver could take more interest in the team and work harder to make it better but so could a LOT of other NBA owners.

    Unfortunately, we Suns fans will have to put our trust in luck as much as anything else while Sarver owns the Suns. Not so much because Sarver makes all the important decisions but because he he hasn’t hired the best people to make those decisions for him.

  • 26 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, a good reason to keep Gortat originally is because his position is one the Suns have had weakness at for a long time. Not like there wasn’t room as the Suns usually have kept the minimum roster number.

    I don’t think $arv is a billionaire therein lies one problem. And no, $arv gets no credit from me for the success the Suns had with the rosters put together primarily under previous ownership.

    We could go on all day with this but it’s OK not to see eye to eye. It is what it is. What is wrecked is wrecked and hopefully $arv will sell the team or at least step down as managing partner (I think he said something a few years ago about doing that if they failed to make the playoffs a certain number of years in a row or a certain number of years within some timeframe). When that happens, we’ll see if he keeps his word.

  • 27 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Previous ownership didn’t extend nash or amare. Sarver did. So, again, no credit. It’s ok to not see eye to eye, but you’re dead wrong to pin this all on Sarver.

  • 28 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    put no stock in published suns ticket sales…marketing dept is giving away tix and 2 for 1s to every monkey that falls out of a tree…have you seen the audience lately?they make the day labor line look like a fashion show…the best compliment you can give any of them is “nice tooth”…the smart ones are staying home,not rewarding sarver and waiting for REAL proof that the team cares

  • 29 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @Tedidog -

    My understanding of how buying draft picks work is that you contact the team (as the Suns did with San Antonio) and you say, “Hey, can we buy that pick from you?” And they say, “Yeah, there’s nobody we’re really interested who’s still on the table.” And then you say, “Great! We’d like for you to pick up Barbosa for us.” And they say, “Hmm, interesting pick. Fast, but maybe not such a good defender. Okay, we just submitted his name to the league. Good luck with that pick, and thanks for the $$$.” End of phone call.

    So the point is that the Suns never bailed, specifically, on Deng, Rondo, Fernandez, Krypto-Nate, or Gortat. Rather, when it came time to pick they said to themselves, “Nobody we scouted and wanted is still available. Boston (or whoever) says they’ll buy the pick. Want to sell it?”

    So while you could blame Sarver (thinking he’s so cheap that saving a million here or there totally makes his day – even if it causes his team to lose more money in the future), or you could blame the coach/GM at the time, who was probably the actual decision-maker – D’Antoni (like I do), you could also blame the Suns’ scouts, who maybe don’t do as good of a job as some teams do (like maybe the Spurs, who pretty much always get a diamond).

    If the scouts had pointed jumping up and down at any of the stars the Suns passed over in the draft in previous years, the Suns would probably have taken them. Instead, they seem disposed to pick Clark, Zarko, Taylor Griffin, and so on, which doesn’t exactly build confidence in Suns’ scouting.

  • 30 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    (Granted, there was only one name of note on the draft board after Taylor Griffin, and that was Patty Mills.)

  • 31 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Steve, Steve, Steve!!

    Why do you insist on not putting the blame where it squarely belongs??

    First of all, the Suns run in 2010 was not lucky. Why do you say that? What evidence do you have to support that? The starting lineup was Nash, J-Rich, Hill, Amare, and Lopez, with Dudley, Goran, Frye, and Lou on the bench. That was a very good team with exceptional chemistry. Sure they didn’t have the team that the Lakers had, but you know what? Nobody else did either. As far as Portland was concerned, sure Roy was injured but so what? He still played, although he was still hurt. Yes, the Spurs were overrated, but how does that have reflection on what the Suns did to them?? They swept the overrated Spurs, so your point about the Suns being lucky is negated right there.

    I could go on and on with the horrible moves Sarver has made over the years, but for some reason, it lands on deaf ears with you. Unless you have some inside knowledge, you are speculating that Amare wouldn’t have stayed with the Suns. Do you know him? Did he tell you that if Sarver guaranteed his 5th season, which is common in the NBA to do, that Amare would still leave Phoenix and go to NY? Assuming you don’t have this inside knowledge, you have no credibility on this issue. Amare doesn’t look great right now with the Knicks, but that has more to do with another idiot owner in James Dolan giving away four starters for Anthony. The team was very strong last season until they made that Anthony trade, why do you seem to ignore this?

    As far as Dragic is concerned, the front office panicked when he was struggling, forgetting that a major part of his struggles were due to who he played with in the 2nd unit. Even if Dragic needed to be traded, you don’t give up a 1st round pick and him for a guy with one good year, who’s too small to be a legitimate starting pg, and who’s contract would have to be matched the very next season in case another team wanted him. Did you watch the Suns against the Nets the other night? The Suns could have drafted Morris and that rookie Marshon Brooks! Instead, they gave away Dragic, they gave away a 1st round pick, and for in essence nothing.
    As far as Gortat is concerned, why do you also ignore the fact that the Suns DRAFTED him?! He should have been a Sun in the 1st place but your good friend or relative Sarver didn’t want to pay him. Just because he was a 2nd round pick doesn’t mean he couldnt’ have turned into a good player. Look at Manu Ginolbli another 2nd round pick.

    Finally, so what that Sarver resigned Nash and Amare? It didn’t take even a good owner to know that was a smart move to make. You act like he should credit for that, something so simple any owner would have done the same. NO credit is deserved for doing that as it’s such a simple move.

    It’s okay though Steve, maybe in three years when the Suns are still an atrocious team you will finally become aware of the obvious, that is, that Sarver is not a below average owner, but instead, he’s a horrible owner, in fact, easily in the top 3 worst owners in the NBA.

  • 32 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I understand where the boycotting sentiment comes from, but I really think it’s ill-advised.

    1. There are plenty of franchises in professional sports that have consistently high ticket sales despite below-average play (the Cubs, for instance). Real fans can suffer through poor play for love of the game and for love of the team.
    2. The way franchises get moved begins with low ticket sales. I’m not saying the NBA would ever move the Suns if it was anything but a last resort, but you shouldn’t count it out completely.
    3. What good does it do to boycott? I’m assuming the motivation is to move the team to new ownership, but that opens up a whole new can of worms. What are the chances that a new owner is going to be any good? What are the chances that a new owner would like to move the team to LA or SD? Will a new ownership team who spends $400M to buy the team raise ticket prices to recoup their losses?

    Through Sarver’s first seven seasons, the Suns made the playoffs five times and the WCF three times. You can attribute that ALL to prior management if you want, or you can realize that your emotions and vendetta against an unlikable man are clouding your judgment.

    That’s a fairly good read and expresses a lot of what I feel about Sarver. He’s made a ton of mistakes, but each of them has their own reason. As much as you or I would like to think we could do a better job, we’ll never have that chance. We have no say in the matter. The only mid-market team that has won multiple championships since the ’90s is SA because they lucked out with Duncan (getting him due to Robinson’s injury). The fact that the Suns have even contended for so many years with this small of a market in the NBA is ASTOUNDING, in my opinion.

    Btw, already mentioned this, but boycotting will only hurt the Suns’ chances of getting back to contention, obviously. Less money to pay the players we need.

    All in all, Phoenix fans are just way too fickle. As a whole, we don’t love our teams nearly as much as we pretend. Boycott if you want, but you’re only perpetuating the idea that west coast fans will only watch a team that wins.

  • 33 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    @Scott, excellent point about selling draft picks. Thanks for clearing that up.

    @Tony, I insist on spreading blame. You all act like Sarver micro-manages every move this franchise makes right down to the towel boys. I insist on NOT putting ALL the blame on Sarver because he doesn’t deserve ALL of it, and also because you give him NO credit for making the WCF three times in seven years. That’s why. I didn’t read the rest of your post. I assume it’s the same garbage you always spew.

  • 34 Big Daddy // Jan 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Enough of this ownership bullshit. Lezzbehonest here, the suns have changed dramatically. We’ve given away too many star players for a long ass time(Joe johnson, amare, marion, steve nash was once traded away aswell). This team is known to not pay up to some players, which has led them to where they are today. But as one great man used to say “It’s snow from yesterday” – Unknown. We can’t keep dwelling on the past, yes the ownership has screwed up many times but I won’t stop rooting for this team. Believe it or not, if aaron brooks was still around and didn’t sign an unreal deal in china which has led to him being trapped there, we’d have a solid team with two good units if the lineups were set accordingly;
    Gortat/?(I Despise lopez, he is a TERRIBLE player and every time he steps onto the court it’s a nightmare situation).
    But then again, brooks is a money-hungry moron so the likelihood of this happening is slim. In regards to two-time, I do hope the suns make some moves to make this team a legitimate contender, although in today’s NBA that would be difficult. If that cant happen, it’s time to give that great man a chance to win a ring with another team because that’s what he deserves.

  • 35 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm


    you know I have no problem debating, but when you seek refuge through insults, you show how truly ignorant you are. You think you are smarter than the majority of NBA reporters and fans who regard Sarver as a terrible owner? You must be so arrogant or completely delusional. I’m done discussing anything with you, jackass.

  • 36 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Just as a point of discussion… would Gortat be as good as he is now if he hadn’t spent those years playing against Dwight Howard in all those Orlando practices? Playing against Howard almost every day would either break or make you IMO.

    Gortat obviously didn’t break.

    Maybe he would have been as good as he is now without that tempering at the hands of Howard… but maybe not.

    What could/should have been is irrelevant now.

    Amare is a great player but he’s also hac a history of injuries which made me think that Sarver made him a reasonable offer before he left to join the Knicks. The Knicks were willing to gamble that he stays healthy over the next 4-5 years. The Suns weren’t. If he does, the Suns made a bad move by not resigning him at a max contract. Only time will tell on that.

  • 37 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    @Zak -

    Gortat absolutely improved under the tutelage of SVG and the relentless pounding of Howard.

    Furthermore, if the Suns had actually kept that 57th pick, it’s doubtful they would have picked Gortat. They probably didn’t even know about Gortat. Most likely, the Magic had scouted or got a tip from someone, found this guy nobody knew about, and bought a cheap late pick from a team (which happened to be the Suns), and instead of the Suns drafting and dropping someone completely irrelevant, the Magic snuck in Gortat.

  • 38 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm


    Some fun quotes from your last post:

    “…When you seek refuge through insults, you show how truly ignorant you are.”


    “I’m done discussing anything with you, jackass.”

    Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

    I’ve already proven my point thoroughly on this thread, so I’m not going to mention our owner’s name again. Instead, I’ll get to the people who actually want to be constructive.

    I think Gortat benefited immensely from playing with Dwight every day. That’s a great point, Zak. What kid doesn’t get better by getting pounded by his physically superior big brother every day? It makes you smarter, more cunning, and opportunistic. Sometimes not having all of the physical gifts handed to you can be a blessing in disguise. I think playing against a freak like Dwight made Gortat a much more well-rounded, intelligent player, and it gave him the determination to be excellent.

  • 39 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    What are the chances a new owner will be worse than $arv??? Slim to none in my opinion and I’d be more than willing at this point to take that gamble. Some Suns fans choose to still follow and support the team but not $arv. I did not see any of us who are of that persuasion say anything about boycotting the team.

    Also, everything I’ve read says the Suns drafted Gortat themselves and sold him to Orlando (which may well have been at Orlando’s behest- or not) not that the draft pick itself was sold. I’d be curious if anyone has more factual info on this.

  • 40 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t comment much on these, but am a loyal reader of VOS. I’m pretty sure the the “Sarver argument” will never be settled. Tony’s mind will never be changed even if the Suns deliver a Championship team in X amount of years….My problem with Sarver wasn’t how he let Amare walk in the Summer of 2010, but how he low balled Kerr and consequently chased Griffin off. I get the Amare thing and actually think it was the right thing to do. I wonder though if Kerr would have taken another direction and gone all in in rebuilding. No one knows cause Sarver didn’t give it that chance, and now we have what appears to be a front office with no direction or gameplan for the future. That being said, many in the Suns franchise for the past 8 years have made some good calls and some bad ones including Sarver….we have the luxury of hindsight.

  • 41 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    To everyone who thinks that Nash should be traded to a team that “might” get him a championship ring… from everything I’ve come to know about Steve Nash, I believe that he wouldn’t want a ring if he thought that he had to ride someone else’s coattails to get one. Nash will go down as one of the greatest players in the NBA whether he gets a championship ring or not.

    Nash, IMO, isn’t staying with Phoenix because he doesn’t care about winning as some people have alluded. If you really care to learn about Nash as a MAN, I think you might discover that he’s already a champion and doesn’t need a ring to prove that to anyone.

  • 42 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I don’t think it’s about getting a Nash a ring as much as it’s about moving onto the next eara. Obviously the Suns would give Nash some imput into his next destination, as that’s the least they could do for him. Problem is thought that (1) Nash needs to request a trade. Even though it makes sense for the Suns to trade him, they owe him the privledge of not only having imput into his next team, but also deciding when he wants to leave this organizaion. (2) And probably the tougher of the two problems in trading Nash is Which team out there gives the Suns pieces back, leaves the Suns finacially flexible for next year and can take Nashs salary back in the trade while being an attractive destination for Nash. ….for these reasons I think Nash stays a Sun till he’s a FA.

  • 43 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @ ZAK …for the suns i just want a man who doesnt consider himself a champion until he wins it all…those are the only ones who win it all…zak i agree with almost everything you write..why cant you at least try to understand that simple point im trying to make…remember billie jean king? (a champion) she used to say “show me a good loser and i will show you a loser”…on another note a lot of what i write is to amuse myself because i dont know what else to do with a team ive followed fanatically for 37 years…last year i felt the same way but kept it to myself like a good homer in hopes they would do something….they didnt…and until they do i owe it to myself and other fans to lambast them in to changes…i have social networks that reach 40 thousand plus people in the phoenix area…this isnt the only forum im screaming in and i know for a fact people are hearing about it because its so over the top and persistent and reachs enough people to make some in the organization shake a little…little by little for a multitude of reasons the attendance will go a marketing throwing the pebbles in to the water that will create the ripples..there is no reason to keep up status quo when the turnstiles stop…sarver only has 2 choices…sell the team or bring in a bunch of new players so we can start the hope process over

  • 44 GoSuns // Jan 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I def agree with zak, no offense to shazam but your mentality about steve nash not caring about winning and being selfish is ludicrous and everybody can get over this bs trade talk cause he’s gonna stay a sun intill either this offseason or when retires cause we will not get anything back in a trade worthwhile at this point unless a team is willing to go on a limb for a championship run and trade us an asset they hope they can manage without

  • 45 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Dear Steve,

    Opinions cannot be “thoroughly proven”. And that’s all any of us, including you, are voicing here.

    Mere opinions. Yours are no better than mine or anyone else’s and vice versa. And none of them can be “proven”.


  • 46 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    It’s not an opinion that there are two sides to every coin and no decision that the FO has made in the past seven years is completely right or wrong, which is my point…

    If you want to pretend you’re so neutral now, why did you argue with me in the first place? I was the one standing against yer radical, fanatical claims, not the one making them. Are you on my side now?

  • 47 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    @ Ryan – When you take a realistic look at the teams that might SIGNIFICANTLY benefit by adding Nash to their rosters and they players they might be willing to trade for someone, even an elite PG like Nash, who might have only one to three good years left… well you tell me what the Suns really can gain by trading him. Sure things may change by the trade deadline and some team might decide it’s “now or never” and make a good trade for Nash. I’ve looked over every team in the NBA and I can’t find a single one who BOTH could benefit from adding Nash to their roster AND has anyone they would be willing to trade for him that would be worth the trade to Phoenix.

    That said, I agree with you totally, Ryan. It makes sense that the Suns trade Nash but, once again, what team both needs him AND has the player/players that would make the trade worthwhile for the Suns. I can’t find one that meets both those criteria.

    I’m just speaking to all the other “trade Nash now” people instead of you, Ryan.

    Too everyone else who cries “Trade Nash!” Tell me and everyone else who you want to trade him for and WHY you think the other team would consider making that trade.

    I can dream up a LOT of trades that make great sense for the Suns… but not for the other teams. You want Amare back? Technically trading Nash and Childress for Amare would work by the salary numbers but would NY actually go for that trade?

    Steve Nash wants to stay a Sun and play in Phoenix at least for now. What’s wrong with a star player who loves the city that has loved him for so long that he wants to keep playing there even if he probably won’t ever get a championship ring on that team?

    I don’t think that Steve Nash, unlike LeBron James, needs a championship ring to define himself.

  • 48 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Oh, and the point was also that ALL the blame does not belong in one place. Another moderate position. Again, why are you even arguing if my point is that the radical, absolute opinions about the PHX front office are utterly false?

    I don’t get people on the intarwebz

  • 49 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I am not pretending anything. I stated opinions that are different from yours and I stand by them.
    I am not neutral. I am not “on your side”. I do not agree with you.

    You seem to have a hard time differentiating opinions from facts- an example of which is you claiming unequivocally that Amar’e was not going to stay in PHX regardless when you do not know this for a fact. It is simply your opinion just as the rightness or wrongness of decisions made by the Suns FO is an opinion; not to be proven or disproven.

    Someone having a differing opinion from you does not make them radical or fanatical. But I would never want to deprive you of your right to voice the OPINION that it is.

  • 50 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Zak, I completely agree….there are no teams out there that it makes sense to trade Nash to in a realistic trade anyway. I’ve heard Indiana floated out there, and just don’t see Collison being a piece the Suns should give Nash up for. I think the Suns are better staying flexible cap wise with that money. Also, I doubt Nash gives Indy more than the remainder of this year, so I don’t see why it makes sense from their perspective. Now as far as other roster spots, I think the Suns need to seriously see what kind of market Lopez has….the Hawks would be the first team I’d see what they have to offer up. Maybe Lopez, and Childress for Hinrichs expiring and a 2nd rounder.

  • 51 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Also, I’m not convinced that Nash is gone after this season. Suns can frontload the hell out of an offer to Westbrook, and the right contract and OKC has to go with Harden as far as who they commit to…we know Presti can’t keep em all. If the Suns do this Nash signs a reasonable contract for two years and finishes up in Phx and competitive, like he should.

  • 52 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    It’s not an opinion to say that not ALL of the blame rests with the front office. That’s called a fact. You’re the one who can’t see that.

  • 53 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @ go suns im doing satire u silly goof…good satire has just enough truth to make people think and react and historically can create movements for change…@ zak if steve nash doesnt need a championship then we shouldnt need him..i know hes a loving parent good person Tebows right hand man….thats not the point…if he really cared about WINNING ever..we would have seen a second of defense out of that stat whore…. @ steve THANK YOU…normally the pro sarvers fall back on revisionism of some ones comment and characterize it like “you blame everything on sarver”…ive never seen any one simplify their point down to “EVERYTHING” are right steve its not black and white…BUT letting kerr and griffin get distraught and leave along with hiring the human helium balloon lon babby after the squeaky con over sold us turk and childress might show that sarver is not cut out for this ownership thing…

  • 54 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm


    it’s pointless to argue with Steve. When he states things like, “there’s no way Amare was staying in Phoneix,” he presumes that is a fact, when we all know it’s just an opinion and it’s an opinion formed on baseless grounds. Gosh forbid if you disagree with him either. He insults you and then thinks he’s won the argument.


    I did not start the insults, YOU DID. I had every right to respond in kind, which is what I did.
    And not every argument has two sides to it. With that logic, I could say the Earth is flat and make an argument supporting that. Would that mean that I am somewhat correct? Of course not. Some things are so obvious and so factual, the other side denying them is wrong.


    Sarver will never put together a championship team mark my words. With that being said, there is nothing more as a Suns fan that I would love to see than the Suns even competing for a championship. I know some people define a successful season as only one in which the team wins the championship but so long as the team was really competitive, like they were until the end of the 2010 season, it was a joy to watch them play.

  • 55 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    It’s especially false to say that ALL of the blame goes to one man and NONE of the credit.

    And it’s pointless to talk about what amare could have or would have done. That was never close to being my main point. The fact with amare is that the suns gave him a comparable offer and he turned it down. Who has the better argument on whether or not stoudemire wanted to leave? He already left…

  • 56 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @ shazam – I don’t think Steve Nash already considers himself a “champion”. I just think he doesn’t think he needs the ring to prove his worth which is why he is still a Sun. I think – and this is JUST what I think/believe – that Steve would only be happy winning a championship in Phoenix.

    I would write more but the weather here is getting very weird and the power has already flickered off twice.


  • 57 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’m not going to bother rereading everything I wrote, but show me where I insulted you.

    And again, facts are facts, and fact is amare left. Who has the better argument regarding whether or not amare wanted to stay. He left.

  • 58 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    i trust your sincerity zak…we may have to agree to safe bro

  • 59 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Tony, I certainly can see that Steve does not know the difference between an opinion and a fact so I am going to make it easier for him and restate my opinion in this way: As I have said previously, yes it is my OPINION that the blame for the trainwreck of a team we are presently enjoying is to be attributed to the Suns’ pisspoor owner $arv & his crappy FO and their crappy decisions over the past few years. That is my story and I am sticking to it. THE END.

  • 60 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    amare did what amare does…just go back and check the way he bounced from high school to high school…always pretending like hes a victim…every move he made created more for him..that what happens to lying manipulators not true victims

  • 61 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @Tony I never said Sarver would put a Championship team together just that if the Suns did win a Championship with Sarver as the Owner it would change your opinion of him absolutely none….I happen to agree with you, that he will never “put together a Championship team”. I think it could happen as he’s the owner though. He’s just not gonna put the team together if they do. Look at OKC right now, it’s all about the FO and getting lucky with once in a generation players. I would take Sarver over the POS they have over there anyday but yet they’re in the discussion for a title. And what about Chicago, do some research on Jerry Riensdorf(an owner that has won and may win again) and tell me if you’d rather have him owning the Suns. I’m by no stretch defending Sarver, but to say that it’s impossible to win an NBA title in spite of his shortcomings is rediculous, and lowers your credibility when critizising him. I think you give Sarver to much credit, and even he could win a title as an owner, cause Lord knows that worse owners have.

  • 62 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    @ shazam – LOL!

    Have you ever actually watched Steve Nash play? He’s NEVER been a great or even a very good defender. Claiming he doesn’t care because he doesn’t play lock down defense now is like claiming we didn’t win WWII in 1942 because we just didn’t try hard enough. Defense isn’t Nash’s forte, never has been. Claiming that his not being a good defender NOW is because he doesn’t care if the Suns win or lose is simply ridiculous!

  • 63 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    @ shazam – My apologies to you. My last post reads as insulting even to me after I re read it. I did not intent it to be so.

    Once again, my apologies.

    Peace and best wishes.

  • 64 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Anybody on this board think the Suns made a mistake by not offering Amare a fully gauranteed 5 yr max contract? oh and of course Amare wanted to stay if the Suns offered the max, as that’s what he wanted earlier that season with an ext, Suns just took a wait and see aproach if you all remember. I personally think the Suns did the right thing on Amare.

  • 65 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I read this entire thing. Quite amusing.

    Though, most of you are putting your anger towards Sarver in the past, which is wrong.
    Understand that, in the cases of Joe Johnson, STAT, and even Matrix there at the end, they simply didn’t want to be in the valley anymore for whatever reason.

    JJ wanted to be “The Man” and he couldn’t do that in PHX with Nash / Matrix / Amare already in house.

    Matrix wanted to be paid as the MVP on the Suns roster. He was great as a sun, but he was no better than 3rd in line. He never could get over that.

    It’s painfully obvious now to anybody watching that Amare wanted a major market and a contract that would give him as much money as possible with the smallest chance of the team being able to pull out of such a deal. Really, the few millions of bucks difference the Knicks put out there isn’t that much of a difference. The nature of the contracts and the extra money that could be made in NY were. Remember, STAT barely even talked to the Suns in that free agency period.

    I really don’t care about any of that. I think in the situations above, Sarver and company did the right things.

    My anger is their lack of organization for the future. That’s where all of your collective anger should be as well.

    And please, get off of Dragon. I can’t believe that a lot of you are still downing the kid.
    First of all, remember Steve Nash sitting behind KJ and J Kidd? He’d come off the bench and was TERRIBLE. the potential was there, but the Suns ran him off anyway before he was given the keys to the car. He was lucky that he went to a similar offense with a dominant player to play with so he progressed as he should have.

    Dragon never got that chance, and he should have. I watch him in Houston all the time and he’s flashy. He guards well. He goes in and gets rebounds. So…

    To all those who seem okay with them getting rid of them, I ask you:

    Aaron Brooks / Zabian Dowdell / Ronnie Price / Sebastian Telfair / Shannon Brown / Michael Redd

    You guys are telling me that you really would rather ANY of these guys over Dragon PLUS that draft pick to help bring in talent? Really? Whether at the 2 or the 1, Dragon is / was a better fit on the Suns in this system.

    That Post-Amare-Post-WCF team? What was he supposed to do? They got rid of his bench mob, really. Then Gentry took the ball out of his hands and gave it to HEDO TURKOGLU AND VINCE CARTER, then basically blamed him for the second unit problems and brought in AARON BROOKS. Terrible.

    He should still be in house getting better and better behind two-time, and he should have been given the keys to keep running with Gortat, 2 more draft picks to go with ‘Keef, and a clear plan moving forward. That is how it should have been. That should have been step one of the future plan.

    There STILL is no step one in place, and that is where all of the anger should be.

    Morris was an obvious steal in the draft, even at his “high” position, but Gentry seems happy in “channing frye’ing” him when it’s obvious he wants to bang a bit more. I say let him. Keef and Gortat work well together even down low. Let it happen and let him take longer shots in transition. It’s a blueprint for future success if he is developed properly now for the eventual post-Nash era.

  • 66 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Yes, I think it was a mistake to let Amar’e go. But then I think it was a mistake to dismantle the 2010 team period.

    With that said, Amar’e certainly had his flaws but I would like to hear more from Shazam about Amar’e bettering his position moving from high school to high school, etc… I have always been under the impression that his moving around had to do with his difficult family life as opposed to just moving for his own purposes. I have always been of the OPINION that Amar’e turned out remarkably well considering his hardships as a youth. Is that not true?

  • 67 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t happen to think it was a mistake to let Amare go. If you remember right, one of those three trips to the WCF was without Amare. I think the mistake was not trading him for Garnett when the Suns had the chance. Had the FO at the time done that we may see banners hanging from the Purple Palace.

  • 68 Zak // Jan 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @Rich Anthony, (KJL) – I agreed with all you said until you stated talking about Dragic. I was foolish to trade him and a draft pick away for Brooks but I DO like Price and think he has more upside than Dragic. Sure I would rather have had Dragic AND the draft pick over Price but Price beats the hell out of Brooks and at least seems to have more confidence and drive than Dragic had. Overall, yes, I’ll take Price over Dragic.

  • 69 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm


    Tell me this is not insulting, “I assume it’s the same garbage you always spew.” Those are your words. Then
    you insult Tedidog by claiming his opinions are “radical, fanatical claims, not the one making them,” with the blatant purpose of trying to undermine his opinions by claiming he’s fanatical.

    Now I know your memory is shaky when it comes to Sarver’s decisions, but you cannot even remember your insults from a few hours ago??

    Rich and Anthony, you two are so funny. It’s hilarious that you two claim to be mind-readers. I mean, you guys must be mind readers to know that no matter what Sarver offered Amare, he wouldn’t stay a Sun. I guess you guys have some special extra-sensory skill.

    Look, I personally don’t blame Sarver for being unwilling to guarantee the fifth year of Amare’s contract as he would be in his mid-30s by his 5th year and he’s had injury problems before. What I do blame Sarver for was not having a reasonable plan B when Amare signed with the Knicks. David Lee, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, were all power forwards that were free agents in that year. Why didn’t Sarver sign any of them? He also should have been aware prior to making a final offer to Amare of the likliehood of signing any of the above free agents. If it seemed unlikely, then he should have taken the chance and resigned Amare by guaranteeing him the 5th year. As we all see, star players win championships not role players. When you have an elite player, you don’t let them go. Sarver did it twice with JJ and then Amare. And there’s no reason to expect him not to do it again in the future if the Suns manage to somehow land an elite player.


    I would much rather have Jerry Riensdorf as owner than Sarver. I don’t even know how you can compare them…. Secondly, winning a championship starts at the top, with the owner. Give me one example where a franchise in the NBA has won a title despite their ownership. I’ve never seen it. So it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that Sarver’s shortcomings will prevent the Suns from having a championship caliber team.


    you’re spot on! There’s no question the predicament facing the Suns now is the result of Sarver and his front office. I mean, it’s so obvious. But people like Steve believe they are the voice of moderation and reason because they spread the blame around. What they fail to grasp however, is that there are situations where moderation is just denial and one point of view truly is right.

  • 70 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    @ rich…step 1 is to not blow up the team and build while contending….no one believed it then and we sure dont now…so the anger comes from watching the front office pretend step 1 still has a chance..its a lie to spin turnstiles an extra few the anger comes from being conned and no plan to win us back ie, an articulated step 2…@ tedidog…u r absolutely right amare came out of a tough place and made millions..not because of ethics but because of talent..most of his problems stemmed from coachs coddling him and giving him what he wanted…he soon learned that he could get just about anything he wanted and he gorged..when problems would arise…no one bothered with the better angels side of the argument..the vested interest was in spinning the his mama is a drug addict and amare is a victim story..and he would move to another high school and start the whole thing over.

  • 71 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Rich and Steve*

  • 72 Scott // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I like Price AND Dragic. There’s no reason for there to be an OR in there. The Suns could have both players.

    I would have liked MarShon Brooks, too. Though of course there’s no indication the Suns would have drafted Brooks if they’d retained the Orlando pick.

  • 73 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I’m more w/ rich on dragic. I don’t think he has all that much upside, but we gave him and a pick away when we didn’t need to and got nothing in return. And I don’t think price’s ceiling comes close to dragic’s. I don’t know if that’s really saying much though, as I don’t expect a lot from either guy.

  • 74 Ryan // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @Tony “I don’t even know how you can compare them….” You’re post speaks for itself, you don’t know.

  • 75 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I guess that’s more insulting than I intended. I’m trying to stay away from personal insults. So, to rephrase, radical and fanatical means speaking in absolutes and substitute stuff for garbage and say for spew. It’s g-rated now.

  • 76 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    @ zak…i left off as a gentleman saying we just might have to agree to disagree on this one and that i agree with most of what you say and ended it with be safe during the upcoming inclement weather…and then i guess the weather cleared up and you came at me again with “defense isnt nashs forte”..when one pops out of their mommy basketball is a foreign concept..then they start playing they become good at what they enjoy…learning works that way…most people enjoy playing offense…winners do what it takes ..they disassociate enjoyment in real time from the process..and hang their hats on the feeling they expect to get once they are a champion….it has nothing to do with “forte”

  • 77 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm


    Huh?? I don’t understand your point. How many championships does Reinsdorf have? How many does Sarver have? I suppose you think Reinsdorf had nothing to do with them.

  • 78 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hahahaha, now Tony wants to give credit to an owner for successes? Reinsdorf also let Jordan retire to play baseball for a team he owns. He was gifted the greatest player to ever play the game and has the current mvp, but he should get credit for sucking so he could get those guys? I don’t want to insult, but that seems completely backwards that you give him credit for Jordan and Rose, the only two good things he has ever done and both were obvious choices, gifts if you will, but Sarver gets no credit for his sterling record because it was the colangelos that gave those awesome teams to him…

    I know hardly anyone here agrees with you or cares what you say, but the fact that your stance exists worries me. The state of the franchise isn’t going to improve with fans like you. At the first sign of trouble post Sarver you’ll just be looking for the next scapegoat.

    If a championship is the only thing you’ll consider a success, you’ll be waiting your whole life in a league like the nba. The chances for any team winning in any given year is about three percent, but we all know it’s really less than that for any mid market team. It’ll take a century and a lot of luck for the suns to win it all, no matter who the owner is.

  • 79 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    There you go again- aren’t you speaking in absolutes (nice speak for radical & fanatical- just looking at entry #75) when you OPINE nobody agrees or cares what another poster OPINES???

    Honestly, not that you aren’t totally entitled to it, but I have never seen such impassioned defense of $arv anywhere, that it makes me wonder do you work for him??? Or are you related???

  • 80 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    steve would you make a list and post it of mistakes sarver has made?…no one is perfect..everyone makes mistakes..what are some sarver made…it seems a lot of people think you work for sarver…this offering would sure help clear that up…i dont have an opinion on this but its come up s lot from others

  • 81 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Why do you bother posting? Show me my absolute that wasn’t used in jest.

    Btw, count the number of times in this thread alone where I have said Sarver made terrible choices and that I don’t like him as an owner. My primary point all along is that it’s very… How should I say this? It’s very short-sighted and narrow minded to assume Sarver is the only issue. And it’s especially dim when you consider that no franchise and no owner in the history of sports has been immune to dry spells. To say that any one person is even the ROOT of this mess is a bit of a stretch.

    Again, I have never intended to defend Sarver as a good owner. I only want people to stop insisting that he is the worst owner in the world, the reason for the franchise’s current woes, that he specifically steered the suns here, and that discontinuing support of the team financially will do any good for the franchise in the short or long term. All of those ideas, while you might call them opinions (and just because something is an opinion doesn’t mean it’s immune to the truth, as all of those “opinions” are easily dismantled by truth), are undeniably wrong by anyone who will let their brain get past their irrational spite for one man.

    You’re not getting another reply, so take as many shots as you want. They’re free.

  • 82 steve // Jan 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I can get on putting a few together tomorrow morning, but I’m out for tonight. The wife is telling me I’ve had enough VotS, and I’m sure she’s right.

  • 83 Tedidog // Jan 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    It’s all good then. We are all just Suns fans who are frustrated and your comments that Tony spews garbage and I am radical and fanatical were really just in jest. No worries. None at all. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Suns will win a game sometime soon and we’ll all be in a better mood.

  • 84 Michael Schwartz // Jan 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    And on that note, D-Rose is questionable tomorrow!

  • 85 Tony // Jan 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm


    You are some piece of work lol! Where did I say an owner shouldn’t get credit for a team’s success? On the contrary, I believe putting together a championship team starts with the owner. This goes to my entire point, that is that a great owner produces championships and a lousy owners costs a team any chance of a title, ala Robert Sarver.

    I know you couldn’t resist the insults, but I’m going to just let it go and chalk it up to your affinity and great admiration for Robert Sarver.


    I seriously wonder if Steve is either a relative of Sarver’s or is paid by him to blog on his behalf? I heard Sarver used to pay people to do that, so maybe Steve’s one of his employees. I’m the same with you in that I’ve never seen such unwavering support for such a horrible owner as Steve’s support for Sarver.


    Steve consistently insults others who disagree with him, so tonight was not just a one time occurrence.

  • 86 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    its just not black and i happy sarver owns the suns?,,,no no no…can i come up with a list of mistakes he made?..damn straight i can…are there things sarver has done that i agree with or at least understand his motives?….yes…steve says what rankles him is those who are absolute in their hatred for sarver..i personally havent seen anyone whos tone was absolute unless they were going for humor…everyone makes some mistakes in their life and career…steve promises to post some sarver mistakes tomorrow..if they are convincing then we have to be fair and not accuse him of working for sarver…@ tony and tedidog why dont you list a few things that you agree with sarver about so this doesnt feel like a witch hunt on steve….i for one right or wrong supported the offer he made to stated before amare isnt mature enough to win it all and he gets injured a lot…some times seriously…there are other things i agree with sarver on but there isnt enough room on the internet to list them all…dont get all bunchy steve thats sort of a joke…sort of

  • 87 shazam // Jan 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    i just did a count..there are 4 things i agree with sarver on and their 27 that really makes me scratch my head,,,so im not absolute and if steve is honest then that should keep me off of his radar

  • 88 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Maybe it would be a good idea to think of mistakes made under the Colangelos … who were, I think, good for the Suns, but not perfect.

  • 89 Tony // Jan 17, 2012 at 12:17 am


    I already stated earlier, but to repeat, I took no issue in Sarver’s offer to Amare as he had a right to be concerned about the potential for Amare to reinjure himself, especially considering he would be well into his 30s by the time the 5th year of his contract.
    The issue I did take concerning Amare was the lack of planning of what to do and who to sign if Amare rejected Sarver’s final offer. Sarver should have had a plan of signing either David Lee, Chris Bosh, or Carlos Boozer if Amare left. Furthermore, if he didn’t think he would be able to sign any of the above three, then Sarver should have taken the chance and resigned Amare guaranteeing the final year of his contract.

    But seriously, other than agreeing that Sarver’s offer to Amare was fair, I really cannot think of anything else Sarver has done that has helped this team….Resigning Nash I don’t give him any credit for as anyone with a shred of intelligence would have done the same. What people fail to remember is that 90% of the Suns success since Sarver took over in 2004 was due to Colangelo’s bringing in Amare, JJ, Marion, and recruiting Nash. It’s only been the last two seasons where Sarver has really been able to establish his foothold on the team’s roster.

    With that being said, I’m curious what are the four moves Sarver made that you agreed with?

  • 90 Artur Mascarenhas // Jan 17, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Things are looking so ugly that nobody is saying anything about how mediocre of a coach Alvin Gentry is.

    Sure, we dont have the players or the owner to feel excited about this team right now, but I don’t think we’re going anywhere with this coach either.

    Bad times for a Suns fan…

  • 91 fan in chi-town // Jan 17, 2012 at 5:25 am

    @Artur – completely agree with that. I think come this offseason the suns need to get rid of gentry and not resign hill or nash to completely wipe out SSOL. Its for everybody’s own good. I’m as big a Nash fan as anybody but after amare left, it was time to move on.

    On a happier note, I’ll be at the game tonight and I hope the suns at least make it worth my while since the driving conditions are dangerous…literally risking my life to go support my team.

  • 92 Morgan McCoy // Jan 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Playing the blame game isn’t going to change this awful situation the suns are in. We simply need to blow up the team. As of right now I’d say the only untouchable players are Gortat and Morris.

    We need to move players for picks in next years loaded draft and prepare to rebuild.

    I’d like to see Nash and Hill traded t0 the knicks but that isn’t going to happen, because NYC doesn’t have the contracts to match in a deal.

    I would think they should try and work a deal with the Pacers, Blazers, Nuggets, or Mavericks.

    They should also try and swap frye and lopez for pics from clippers.

  • 93 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Keep in mind that part of the reason why the Suns have the depleted-looking roster they do, is that it’s been hard to acquire talent.

    Maybe you can trade away what the Suns currently have, but what are you going to get back in return?

  • 94 steve // Jan 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    First, I highly doubt Sarver cares enough about his reputation to hire people to troll for him (plus, I haven’t said anything positive about the man, I’m just trying to debunk the myth that EVERYTHING is on him). Plus, I doubt he really believes it’s going to hurt his bottom line.

    Second, I think a lot of people grossly overestimate the role of an owner. I know it’s Hollywood, but humor me for a second. Did anyone see “Money Ball?” Tell me, what role did the owner play in that movie? He was the man in the office who Billy Beane came to when he needed some cash. Other than that, Billy Beane had free reign to make whatever call he wanted with the money he was given. Other than Jerry Jones (who is also his team’s GM), I don’t know if we can point to a single owner in any sport and definitively say he plays more of a role in player personnel than simply hiring a GM, scouts, etc to do the work.

    What I’m getting at is can we blame Sarver for Aaron Brooks? Can we blame Sarver for the Kurt Thomas trade? Can we blame Sarver for JJ (this one I think we can, but then again, I don’t think it’s all that bad of a thing that JJ left. He and Amare, are the poster boys for overpaid superstars of the 2010′s)? Can we blame Sarver for hiring Terry Porter? Can we blame Sarver for signing Shaq? Can we blame Sarver for not retaining the bench from the 2010 squad?

    To be honest, I don’t think he cares enough to meddle with every single affair of the team. If he did, then what’s the point of having a GM or a PBO?

    Here’s what I blame Sarver for. He INSISTS on hiring noobs to his front office and staff. D’Antoni (coaching hires are more of a GM decision, but whatever), Kerr, Babby, Blanks… Those are the people who are making the personnel decisions that we get to see on the court. Sarver makes those hires to a great extent, so if you want to say he’s behind all of those moves in that way, that’s a fair argument. But so many people pretend as if Sarver himself is the one pushing for all these things that have gone wrong with the franchise in the past 3 or 4 years.

    Another thing that I hold against him is something that I don’t really have all that much knowledge about, and I’m pretty sure none of you would either. It’s just something I’m assuming from hearsay and the few figures of the front office we actually know about. The turnover rate in the Suns front office seems to be incredibly high. The only positions we really hear too much about are things like GMs, PBOs, CEOs, those types of positions. But, from what I hear, basically the entire front office has turned over at least once during Sarver’s seven years as owner. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not entirely certain. If you are certain of that one way or the other, feel free to pipe up. What I get from that high turnover rate is that Sarver is a difficult and unpleasant person to work for. Based on his public image, I’d say that’s entirely plausible. He seems like a real jerk. All of this turnover leads to instability in the ranks, in my opinion, and the general lack of direction we are feeling right now.

    The last thing I hold against Sarver that I’ll mention today is that he continually raises ticket prices while lowering the team’s salary. I’m not going to say he’s cheap, because the team is typically a middle spender. But I will say he’s a scrooge. Phoenix has been hit as hard as anywhere but Detroit by this recession, and there are a LOT of people who can’t drop $200 on every home game to go see it with their families (for upper bowl seats). I see no effort whatsoever for Sarver to empathize with the community. He isn’t publicizing special packages, promos, giveaways, lower prices… he isn’t doing anything to help. If I had a piss poor public image like he has, I would be creating a feel-good story or five every single home game to try to get people to forgive me for being a gigantic moron every time I open my mouth in public. If Sarver was giving away tickets to a fifth grade class because one of its members won a science contest or giving away tickets to families who just lost all their income, giving away tickets (and food) to homeless people… just contributing to goodwill efforts at all, I wouldn’t despise him so much for this. How someone can raise ticket prices while lowering their team’s salary in a recession is beyond me.

    Oh, I thought of one more thing, and this one is personnel-related. I can’t remember who it was, exactly, but after Kerr left and before Babby and Blanks were hired, Sarver (along with a team that no one really knows, probably) was acting as the GM. He signed a couple of guys, and I’m thinking it was Childress and Warrick. Obviously, I think Childress was a terrible move. Warrick has actually been above average, and I think he’s fairly paid for his production, but he has perpetuated the complete lack of defense the Suns are known for. Whatever moves it was that Sarver made, at least one of them hasn’t worked out for the good of the team, I know that much.

    Any other personnel junk that we typically blame Sarver for, I doubt he does anything besides saying, “I trust your judgment,” to whoever ACTUALLY makes the decision and comes up with the idea. And again, that brings me back to my main point. No extremely wealthy man gets that way because he does all the little things to bring his company to top every step of the way, from start-up to multi-billion dollar company. At some point, they have to delegate. An organization as big as the Suns is not run by one man/woman. That figurehead’s responsibility is to surround himself/herself with competent people who can make the little decisions they don’t have time for. I think Sarver has failed miserably in his hirings and also in retaining good employees. And the retaining bit is a big assumption on my part. Does anyone know if the turnover rate in the Suns front office is really any higher than the majority of sports franchises? I certainly dont. It just seems high to me.

  • 95 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I should have mentioned this in the last post, but as regards picks, there are 2 issues.

    1) Most teams these days want their picks. If you’re thinking the next draft is loaded with talent, well, so are all those other GMs.

    2) Even if the Suns get picks, what makes you think they’re going to use them well? There’s no guarantees in the draft, and even fewer if your scouts are a bit iffy.

  • 96 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

    @steve -

    I suspect even those complaints about Sarver are undeserved, as even for front office hirings and ticket pricings, he’s probably taking the recommendations of other people.

    For example, Sarver hired Blanks. Did he have a long personal history with Blanks? To the best of my knowledge, no. But Blanks ended up passing through the vetting process and got hired. I think Sarver is largely blameless; he’s following the recommendations of others who he believes know a lot more about basketball than he does.

    As for the turnover at the FO, remember that this franchise was rather recently sold. There’s going to be an added attrition, I’d assume, as staff who were used to the old ownership move on, and new hires are tested and evaluated, and in some cases, found wanting. The Colangelos probably sifted through a lot of people to find their “keepers.”

  • 97 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

    @steve -

    It’s likely that the Colangelos hired a bunch of people who were nice, but as individuals they were knuckleheads in this or that regard, but the Colangelos knew in what ways they were knuckleheads, so certain bits of advice coming from this person or that person were ignored, while other bits were taken into advisement. The Colangelos were also a basketball family, with decades of experience and lifelong connections, so you could expect on any occasion a staffer might suggest something and Colangelo would simply know better.

    Sarver wouldn’t necessarily know the staff he inherited that well, and could be taking in a lot of bad advice from them and the other owners.

  • 98 steve // Jan 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Those are good points, Scott. Ultimately, the job of an owner is throw their money around and trust the “specialists” to know what they’re doing. I think Sarver has almost nothing to do with the day to day operations of the team (just like every other owner in sports). However, I do think that at some point, he needs to be accountable for the people he surrounds himself with. If he didn’t directly hire Blanks, he probably directly hired the people advising him to hire Blanks. And if that’s the case, then I’d say he failed to hire good advisers. At some point, he failed when he hired the people who are telling him what to do. BUT, like you said, he’s still early in the process of being an owner. Maybe it’ll just take some time to find the keepers, and hopefully once they’re found, he’ll decide to pay them.

  • 99 Scott // Jan 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @steve -

    If Sarver is a successful businessman because of what he’s been able to do himself – in other words, not because of luck, or inheritance, or someone else’s work – then he’ll eventually get it sorted out.

    But look at the various problems they’ve had in Portland under Paul Allen. It’s not like Allen just bought the Blazers; he got them in 1988. But they’ve had their fair share of churn even in recent years.

  • 100 shazam // Jan 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    robert ( silver spoon ) sarver …son of jack sarver (financier,hotelier)…young robert never “worked” a day in his life and has no contact with common people..thats why he says things like im going to bring that agreement home to my wife in a designer bag…in another era he would say let them eat cake..i dont have a problem with this… some one has to over pay aging guards and middling players…pro sports is littered with these types..what i DO have a problem with is that the trust fund buffoon actually thought he too was a tycoon like his father jack…robert invested heavily in phx real estate at the worst time along with top dollar for the suns from the cagey colangelo…real estate bubble bursts///bobby buffoon looks around and realizes he no longer can really afford an nba team but cant sell it because hes under water with it too…so he turns into a vulture capitalist and starts selling off parts of his pro franchise at the severe cost of winning

  • 101 shazam // Jan 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    the only talent an owner must have is the ability to recognize talent…the only asset an owner must have is a lot of cash flow…bobby buffoon just isnt that guy

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