The LA Lakers’ mess makes the Phoenix Suns look less dysfunctional

Magic Johnson Devin Booker Phoenix Suns LA Lakers (Photo by Michael J. Lebrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images)
Magic Johnson Devin Booker Phoenix Suns LA Lakers (Photo by Michael J. Lebrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images) /

On May 28, even more information surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ dysfunction leaked to the media – further making the Phoenix Suns look…normal.

When I awoke to the sight of the expanded news about the LA Lakers’ mess from the top to bottom (ownership to the roster), I could not help but smile continuously while reading about not only at the Lakers’ self-inflicted misfortune, but the realization that the Phoenix Suns suddenly do not look anywhere near as bad as they have been accurately perceived over the past few seasons.

Let’s face it: the Phoenix Suns have been a pillar of dysfunction, but fans never could have thought that there was a chance that the Lakers,  of all teams, would actually appear far more maladjusted.

Of course, the Suns’ worst problem is their owner.

A meddling mess, someone who has been dragged kicking and screaming into the professional sports way of managing a business, Robert Sarver has time and again been a menace to the franchise’s return to regular playoff participation, and the blue chip recognition that it once held under Jerry Colangelo’s reign.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

But while the Lakers, who have for 60+ years have been (unfortunately for the Suns) one of the pillar organizations of the NBA, a shining beacon of consistency and as well-ran as can be from it’s ownership and as studded as they can afford with stars, over the last few months, Phoenix has slowly began it’s ascent back up to league-wide respectability (do not get me wrong, they’re nowhere close, but they do appear to be trending in that direction), while the Lakers have nose-dived into the depths of what would make any other franchise a league-wide laughing stock, able to attract a single superstar, but only so he can be closer to post-playing career opportunities.

If Sarver though, does begin to put more dependence and fidelity in the basketball minds who he has hired, signing off on trades, signings, and re-signings that maybe his  gut says no to but his general manager, president, and head coach all believe to be the right moves at the time they present them to him, then even he can develop into a successful NBA owner, one who at least can potentially rebuild a portion of his now non-existent respectability among Suns fans.

What will make the Phoenix Suns successful long term is stability from top to bottom, which obviously begins with Sarver, and which in LA has not been there since the passing of former owner Jerry Buss.

How stability can be established is by an owner not making rash decisions based on non-basketball experiences, rather, putting into motion a long-term plan of success based on sound basketball decisions and reasonable expectations presented to him by people who can be fired  for making poor judgements, and cannot continue on in perpetuity if even every move made is a poor one – as an owner can.

In other words: do not sell the signings of Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick as reasonable replacements of Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire. That kind of lipstick on a pig will not fly with a fanbase today coming off of the longest streak of futility in franchise history, rather than still riding the high of the Colangelo-led era of supreme success.

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While today Suns fans only have the recent hirings of Jeff Bower and Monty Williams to hang their hat on (not even an exciting free agent signing or surprise trade to be hyped about), and yet, with each release of information of the Lakers stepping in it, even the little things that Phoenix does feels so much like significant steps towards major and extended success.

If Robert Sarver can fully empower those who he has hired to do their jobs to the fullest, then while we watch the Los Angeles Lakers implode from the top down, we just might finally see the Phoenix Suns re-build, including their owner.