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Will The Suns Suffer The Fate Of 1968 Eagles?


Woah what? How could there exist any correlations between the modern day Phoenix Suns and the 1968 Philadelphia Eagles?

No that isn’t a typo but it’s a very real and serious issue that’s taking place before our eyes. Here’s something everyone should know about the 1968 Philadelphia Eagles, they were one of the worst NFL teams of all time.

The Philadelphia Eagles began the 1968 season by losing 11 straight games and the Eagles fan base were about as frustrated as modern day Phoenix Suns fans, however there seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the city of brotherly love. That light was in the form of a running back who was coming out of USC that season by the name of O.J Simpson. Simpson would go on to rush for over 11,000 yards in his 11-year career in the NFL, win MVP in 1973 and ultimately ended up being inducted into the hall of fame. Simpson was just about the consensus number one overall pick in the NFL draft that season. 

The Eagles began the season 0-11 and it got to the point where Eagles fans were actually encouraging the Eagles to lose the remaining 3 games of the season so that the Eagles would be able to draft O.J Simpson in the draft so that he’ll salvage the franchise. However, the Eagles would go on to win two meaningless games against the Lions and the Saints and ended up finishing the season with a 2-12 record. 

Those two wins, bumped the Eagles down to the 3rd overall spot in the 1969 NFL draft, and instead of drafting O.J Simpson, the Eagles ended up drafting a defensive back/running back by the name of Leroy Keyes. Keyes would last just five seasons in the NFL.

The moral of the story is simply this: Don’t win meaningless battles only to lose the war.

Feb 27, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Luis Scola (left) and center Jermaine O

First off, the NBA draft is far more different than that of the NFL’s. In the NFL, the worst team automatically receives the top pick, but in the NBA things are far more different. The NBA draft order is determined in a lottery fashion in that, the worst team in the league will have the “Best Chance” To secure the top overall pick and so will the other 13 teams in the lottery but ultimately, the teams that have the lesser records will have a higher chance to get a higher pick.

The Suns have won their last three games including two overtime wins against the Spurs and Timberwolves. In the process of winning those three games, the Suns went from being the fourth worst team in the league to being tied for the sixth worst. How is that a bad thing?

Well according to the lottery odds, the 6th worst team in the league has a 6.3% chance of getting the number one overall pick in June, while the 4th worst team would have 11.9% chance of getting the number one overall pick; that’s nearly double.

Fortunately for the Suns, in this year’s NBA draft, there isn’t a clear-cut top prospect. In fact, Chad Ford of ESPN insiders has three different players being the potential number one overall pick, Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, Ben McLemore of Kansas, and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State.

The best thing the Suns can do at this stage of the game is to put some ice on their winning ways. Yes, yes, that’s a tough thing to say but at this point, every game the Suns win is a curse in disguise because it’ll only spoil their draft position.

The Suns are currently 21-39 with 22 games left on their schedule. They would have to win all 22 of those games just for a chance to make the playoffs; the projected win total for the 8th playoff team in west roughly 44.

Mar 2, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore (23) shoots a foul shot against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas defeated West Virginia 91-65. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

“They’re not competitive. Even the really bad teams like Cleveland and Sacramento have players to build around. The Suns? Their best players are Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat.” Said Charles Barkley.

With all of that being said, the Suns need to be aware of what’s going on. Teams like the New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic want to lose games right now too, because just like the Suns, those teams are looking to add more building blocks for the future.

ESPN.com ranked all the NBA players from top to bottom prior to the season. Nine out of the top 10 players were taken with a top-five pick in the draft; three were taken number one overall(LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose). That shows how important it is for the Suns to secure at least a top-five draft pick this June and if that means losing a few more games this season then so be it!

The Suns NEED to have “That” player to build around next season as much as human-beings need oxygen to survive. That should be the Suns top priority right now, finding that super-talented young player to build the team around, but unfortunately for the Suns and Planet Orange, winning games right now would contradict that.

The ironic aspect of all of this is that the Phoenix Suns officially became an NBA franchise the same year all the losing took place in Philadelphia. The same year(1969) the Philadelphia Eagles lost out on the O.J Simpson sweepstakes, the Suns lost a coin toss against the Milwaukee Bucks prior to the NBA draft which awarded the Suns the second overall pick while the number one overall pick was awarded to Milwaukee. That number one pick became this guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…Who did the Suns end up drafting that season? Neal Walk…Anyone else suddenly starting to feel a sense of anxiety, and panic? Me neither……..