The Brooklyn Nets really make me miss Phoenix Suns playoff basketball

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It has been a long time since the Phoenix Suns were last in the playoffs. And this year, I miss it more than ever before.

I am fortunate to have Sirius/XM radio in my car, and when I have to drive around, NBA Radio is usually what I have on.

On April 20, I happened to have a lot of driving time, which allowed me to listen to the Brooklyn Nets radio broadcast of their Game 4 first round loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

From a listener’s perspective, even for a non-Nets fan, it was a blast.

The Barclay’s Center was loud and full of energy, the announcer (I have no idea his name) was often yelling at the top of his lungs, both with excitement but also to be heard over the roar of the home attendees, and the entire time I kept hearkening back to the many years in my life in which I listening to Al McCoy call Phoenix Suns playoff games, bringing back mental images and emotional memories that I hadn’t contemplated in many years.

As we all know, a radio broadcast is a much different experience than a television one. A good announcer draws a much more vivid picture in both his description of the game itself but amps up the intensity as well as through his emotions.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

By listening, I was able to better tap into the excitement felt by the home Nets fans as Brooklyn charged their way to what appeared to be an upset of the heavily-favored Sixers, especially in the final five minutes when they held leads and had opportunities to take back the lead on multiple occasions.

But while I truly did get into it as a listener (the Nets use the same laser sound that the Suns use whenever they hit a 3, which somehow made it feel even more real), it made me wish more and more that the Suns were involved and playing in these win-or-go-home scenarios.

From the date of the publishing of this post (April 20, 2019), it has been 3,248 days since the last time the Phoenix Suns participated in a playoff game, a Game 6 home loss to the LA Lakers in the 2010 Western Conference Finals.

3,248 days…and counting.

Which also means it’s been 3,248 days since NBA fans last heard a Phoenix Suns crowd truly roar.

If after that game you would have told me that the Suns would not play a meaningful playoff game for a minimum of 3,500 days (and that number is with the wishful hope that things go well in the re-structuring of the roster this offseason giving them the talent to make the playoffs in 2020), I would have slumped into a deep Phoenix Suns-centered depression.

Every year since, the playoffs have come and gone, 16 fanbases have celebrated their team’s participation, one has celebrated as champion.

And every year since, the Phoenix Suns have been on the outside looking in – and several times, as far back from inside as is possible, by record.

We all know who’s fault this is, that’s not the point of this post.

It’s just something, that as a life-long and forever fan of this franchise, I miss. A lot.

Think about this: the last time the Suns made the playoffs, they were in their 43rd season and had made the playoffs 29 times out of those 43 seasons – 67.4% of the time.

Now? 56.8% of the time.

When that season ended, the Suns had the 5th best overall record in NBA history.

Now? 7th.

Even without a title, the Suns were considered a blue chip franchise. They were always competitive, and most of the time you could write a playoff prediction bracket in the preseason and add the Suns in pen.

Now, if you even consider writing them in you’re fooling yourself.

The playoffs were home to the Suns. They might not have always been all that successful (I will go to my grave believing that the Jason Kidd teams were the most under-achieving teams in franchise history), but they were there. We were excited. The arena and coliseum were always packed and loud. The games were full of energy.

Suns fans expected  their team to be back the next season. It was a prerequisite of their fandom with the team.



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Even though they lost on Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets reminded me of that feeling I once had year in and year out watching the Phoenix Suns play playoff basketball.

I miss it now more than ever.