It is time. It is time for Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns. It is all I want for Christmas, 2019.
The Phoenix Suns…are no good.
Forget that Deandre Ayton hasn’t been able to play this season.
Forget that Devin Booker has had a hand injury.
Forget that the core of the roster hasn’t really been able to meld very well.
Frank Kaminsky is averaging over 20 minutes per game.
That information should be all one needs to understand that this team is just no good.
I have broken down the roster plenty of times, you probably have as well, but it is far from complete.
The worst of it though is that it shouldn’t be.
Devin Booker fell into the franchise’s lap with the 13th overall pick in 2015.
It took no more than 30 games for the NBA-world ’round to know that the Phoenix Suns had something special with that kid, and yet he still does not have the help he needs to win.
Who is the team’s backup point guard? Who is going to come in and safely guide the team when Ricky Rubio is on the bench?
Who is Booker’s backup? Seriously – think about that.
But do not think too hard on it – he is not a star.
Oubre is a good player that could be at least the fourth best piece on a championship competitive team. He can’t be counted on to be a main piece.
A solid role player but not a legitimate NBA starter?
And, by the way, who is backing him up?
He is a very good backup center. But, that is all he is: a backup and for as much fun as he has been in spurts this season, he is not going to be around very long.
He is 33-years-old.
This team is missing far too many pieces as it is to be competitive game-in-and-game-out.
Can it still make the playoffs?
Surprisingly in 2020 they might.
The West is not nearly as tough as once thought, and if the core is actually able to get healthy and play together for an extended period of time, then they might just be able to scrape enough wins to steal the 7th or 8th spot, which, admittedly, would be really cool.
However, it is too little too late, for one, Robert Sarver.
The franchise made the playoffs once in this nearly-completed decade, 2010, and it came after missing the playoffs in 2009 when Sarver inexplicably pushed for the trade of Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal (against general manager Steve Kerr‘s wishes, mind you), then allowed for the release of Mike D’Antoni, which led to the hiring of Terry Porter.
The franchise has 481 losses (and counting) since the calendar turned to 2010, and all but 13 (the final 13 losses of the 2009-10 season), came after the dismantling of the roster that Jerry Colangelo built.
Then aside from one surprising season in 2013-14 (which literally caught everyone by surprise – including Sarver hired general manager Ryan McDonough who has since admitted that he was so unprepared for that event that he didn’t know exactly what to do as a response) the franchise has had seven losing seasons, and one season the finished at .500.
For far too long now, watching this franchise flounder in the basement of the league and struggle to even remain relevant in the Valley that has been it’s home for the last 52+ years, has become no fun.
How can it be?
What exactly is the hope that fans should have that things will turn out for the better much more quickly than they will take a turn for the worse?
This current team, which actually began with a lot of promise when the team went 7-4 in it’s first 11 games, has since gone 4-15 and lost seven straight.
And when you watch these games, be honest with yourself: does Devin Booker in particular look like he’s having any fun?
Does he look like he is giving his all on every play?
Does he visibly celebrate big moments like he once did?
Does he visibly stew after bad plays?
Does he really look like he cares?
We have to remember too: he did not grow up a Phoenix Suns fan like we all did. He has adopted the franchise because it is the franchise who adopted him in the draft.
But for as much as we want to believe that he is going to be here for the long haul because he is under contract, and for as much as that contract is, he wants to win.
He wants to have fun.
And if it is not fun for us – and we don’t have to go to games, we don’t have to watch them on TV and we don’t have to listen on the radio – can any of us blame him for finally being sick and tired of the losing (as we all are) and just, give up?
The team’s that Devin Booker has played on are a combined 98-259.
The franchise has not even won 100 games since he has been drafted!
Sure, he has aspects of his game that could be improved (and yes, it would be nice to see him working harder in a game to win right now), but at this point, imagine that you were at a job for nearly five years, you had a ton of pressure put on you to lead a team, but since the day you joined the team that you had no control over building has sucked.
Wouldn’t you get tired of it?
And if you think that he’d never demand a trade (even as soon as before this coming trade deadline), for those of you who are old enough, remember: Charles Barkley was under contract in 1996 for another two years, had won MVP, had been to the Finals, and had won 219 regular season games with the franchise – and yet still wanted out.
In the end: this all comes down to Robert Sarver.
He is the only person that has been a part of this entire decade of losing.
He is the only person that has hired the worst executives and management over the last ten years and allowed (or encouraged) some of the worst trades and draft selections in that same span.
He is the only person that can be blamed with any modicum of a guarantee that he destroyed what once was a blue chip franchise in the NBA, and turned it into a perennial loser.
He is the only person who truly can inspire hope in the franchise before all others, and yet does the exact opposite with his mere presence with this franchise.
Phoenix Suns fans deserve hope.
Phoenix Suns fans deserve to believe in the franchise again.
Phoenix Suns fans deserve to look towards the future of their fandom and know that there is some sort of a guarantee that they will watching winning basketball more regularly than losing basketball – as had been the guarantee, until Robert Sarver bought the franchise.
All I want for Christmas 2019 is for Robert Sarver to sell the franchise.
I want that hope that a new owner will come in with a new vision, with a new vigor, with a new direction, and bring optimism to a fan base that this era of losing will finally all be over for good.
It is time for the Phoenix Suns to be great again – and they will never be so, so long as Robert Sarver is the owner.