The nachos are stale, the cheese is cold, the hot dog buns are crusty, the cheerleaders are ugly, but there is PLENTY of parking available at Phoenix Suns’ games, according to Charles Barkley.
It’s not even warm in Phoenix, according to the analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA. He cites El Niño.
Barkley went on another one of his spirited rants Thursday night. This time it was during the Phoenix Suns highlights.
Obviously Barkley was joking as usual, but he got his general point across in the segment. Not much is going right for the Suns.
“They’ve got the best fans in the world and they deserve better” – Charles Barkley
The Suns lost to the Houston Rockets 111-105, making it 21 defeats in their last 23 games.
The TNT crew featuring former players Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and host Ernie Johnson kept setting Charles Barkley up with one-liners. Barkley said the Suns threw former Head Coach Jeff Hornacek under the bus, and that he would “get a job with a real NBA team.”
Johnson reminded Barkley that the Suns were without their top three scorers due to injury: Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and T.J. Warren. Barkley fired back that it didn’t matter:
“They were no good when they had ’em.”
The Chuckster couldn’t be more spot on with this one, as they were 12-19 before Eric Bledsoe – who was leading the team in ppg with 20.4 – went out for the season with a knee injury.
Apparently the soda and beer are flat too, but when the Suns’ social media personnel heard Charles’ rant, they fired back with an old picture of Cam Newton eating nachos at a Suns game, who is in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.
Whatever the reason (it’s their abysmal record), Suns fans aren’t desperate to watch their team play at home. Tickets on StubHub.com for the Suns’ next two home games against the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder are starting at $8 and $11.
The culture in Phoenix has to change, and it has to change fast.
Maybe Hornacek was thrown under the bus, but nobody was performing up to expected standards, evident by their 14-37 record. Something had to give.
The 2015-2016 season will mark the longest playoff drought in franchise history (6 years). A franchise that has had two of the best players in NBA history on their roster and never won a NBA championship. A franchise that has been built up and torn down by haunting memories of losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
And now in February of 2016 one of the team’s former MVPs has called the team out on national television. Phoenix could brush it off as Barkley just being his usual comedic self, or they could bookmark this. Remember this moment. This is where the Suns have to turn the corner.
The 2016-2017 season has already begun in Phoenix, and it must continue with a focus on chemistry and the development of young players. Other than a potential Markieff Morris deal, this trade deadline should be a quiet one for the Suns. They have a good core of young scorers including Warren, Archie Goodwin and 19 year-old Devin Booker who needs to stay put.
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And despite his let down of a season after signing a deal worth over $60 million, Tyson Chandler is averaging 12.9 rpg per 36 minutes this season, tied for the second highest season in his career.
Maybe if he played more than 23.3 mpg – the lowest total since he made since a pit stop in Charlotte in the 2009-2010 season – he would be able to contribute more. He is capable of being the anchor at center the Suns desperately need, not to mention he is invaluable as a mentor to Alex Len.
The high lottery pick the Suns are due this summer should be the last one they get in a while.
The talent is there to at least be competitive in the Western Conference. With more talent on the way, new interim coach, Earl Watson, will have a legitimate chance to earn himself a permanent coaching gig.
Barkley is right. Sure this season has been bad, but there is an opportunity on the horizon. If the Suns retain their core of players, light will shine again in the Valley of the Sun.
If they don’t, Barkley will keep you updated in the same fashion as Thursday night.
“Breaking news, the Suns lost again.”