The Phoenix Suns will be all business and no play while at Disney

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns arrive in Disney World today where they will remain until at least August 14. However, don’t think they’re going to be riding Space Mountain.

The day has finally come. The Phoenix Suns leave today for Walt Disney World to seclude themselves in a figurative bubble as they finish out their season during a global pandemic.

Crazy times. It reminds me of another surreal moment in history: 9/11.

My wife was on an airplane on September 11, 2001. Dang, that sentence makes me sound really old, so to give it more context, I didn’t know she existed in the world at that point and she was only 16 years old.

She was on a family vacation from Pittsburgh to Orlando, Florida as her parents and siblings were making their first-ever visit to Disney World. You might think this was incredibly poor timing and crappy luck, but they landed safely and the initial shock of an attack on American soil, major theme parks and other places of mass gatherings reopened to prove Americans will not be terrorized.

While that was good in theory, many folks understandably opted to stay home. Except for my wife’s family. They continued their planned trip and essentially had the entire park to themselves. With no lines, she was able to ride Space Mountain on repeat as much as she wanted.

That was probably the last time anyone was able to do that…until now when the Phoenix Suns and the other 21 bubble teams will have the park all to themselves.

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Monty Williams is instilling a business-like approach to the Phoenix Suns.

The problem is, Monty Williams has a strict, “Forget Mickey” philosophy for the team’s time there, so Elie Okobo can kiss his exclusive tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter goodbye. There will be no Animal Kingdom safaris for Frank Kaminsky, and Dario Saric will have to wait a little longer before his picture in front of Elsa’s castle.

According to Williams:

"“We’re not going to ride on Space Mountain and do the Disney thing. Forget Mickey. This is freaking ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Gladiator’ stuff that we are trying to will onto other teams. That’s the mindset. We’ve talked about embracing hard for a long, long time since I’ve been here. It is difficult, but this team has learned how to embrace hard. We understand what it takes when you’re up against hard. You’ve got to get on the other side of it.”"

Williams also said of the bubble experience, “It’s a different kind of different,” which is maybe one of the most Monty Williams quotes of all time.

I’m not one of those weird Disney adults like that coworker you have who you always knew was a little off, but you could never put your finger on exactly why. But I’d be damned if I was that close to Star Wars Land with no one else around and not sneak off go wield a lightsaber.

If having the amount of willpower required to resist that temptation exempts me from being a Phoenix Suns player, then consider me nothing more than a bum who just writes about them from my couch.

Hmm. Nevermind.

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My point is that these guys are going to have a lot of downtime, and it seems like a waste of a perfectly good empty theme park to completely ignore it and spend all of their waking hours focused on basketball and playing singles ping-pong.

Having said that, I appreciate the mentality Monty Williams is trying to instill. Braveheart and Gladiator are warriors who dominated their opponents, and that is what he plans on doing to every team the Suns face in Orlando. But the overly-practical side of me says banning Disney while at Disney is something a college coach would do to teach his team discipline, and not something suitable for adult professionals.

Still, if the Suns can come out battling like Maximus and the barbarian horde in the Battle of Carthage, I’ll forget about how Cheick Diallo missed out on Epcot Center, and walk around screaming, “Are you not entertained?!”

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