History is your Guide
For those lifelong fans, whether you were around for either of these periods or not, you are well aware of what was before and what became of it.
Without going into too much depth, from 1984-88, the Phoenix Suns averaged a whopping 33-49 record.
Granted they made the playoffs following the 1984-85 season, but they did so in a league with only 23 teams, with a 36-46 regular season record and were swept out of the first round by the Lakers.
Over that period, the team went through three head coaches, two who were fired, dealt with a traumatic drug scandal that ended the Suns career of Walter Davis, and traded away their only star, Larry Nance, for a handful of reserves and a swap of draft picks.
In the end, one positive trade outcome (Nance for Kevin Johnson, Mark West, et al., plus the draft pick that landed Dan Majerle), and one free agent signing (Tom Chambers), coupled with Cotton Fitzsimmons as Head Coach, and the Suns were not only back in the playoffs, but in the Western Conference Finals in 1989 for the first time in five years (they made it in 1984, a tremendous shock to everyone).
One offseason was all it took.
Phoenix rode the momentum of that era through until the year 2001 when the trading of Jason Kidd ended the so-called “Backcourt 2000” with he and Anfernee Hardaway, which led to the missing the playoffs for two out of three seasons (they snuck in in 2003 but lost in the first round to San Antonio, the first time that the Suns had missed the playoffs that frequently since the 1984-88 era).
At that point, both Hardaway and Stephon Marbury were traded, as was Cliff Robinson.
Marbury’s trade was particularly upsetting to many fans because he had just been signed to an extension and was touted as the point guard of the future.
Regardless, with Leandro Barbosa now running point, three head coaches (two fired) in three years, plus a very young roster without much veteran leadership (does any of this sound familiar?) and all seemed lost.
Lest we forget: in Nash’s introductory press conference, he stated that this was a playoff team, to which the fans and media alike scoffed.
Are you STILL not satisfied?
Allow the example of one team who is doing exactly what we want the Suns to do – right now.