The Phoenix Suns need to fully convert on-the-fence fans…like me

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Kelly Oubre
Phoenix Suns Kelly Oubre (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Winning over on-the-fence Phoenix Suns fans: Bring in endearing players

Fans love teams, but they also love players. And a host of endearing players can make up for a lack of team winning.

There are many ways a player can become endearing. The first and most obvious is for the player to be incredibly good at basketball. Look at Devin Booker. He doesn’t exactly have a magnetic personality, but his skill level alone puts little kids in #1 jerseys all over the Valley.

The next best way to create some love from the fans is by having an awesome personality. Take a look at Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jevon Carter. Tsunami Papi has perhaps one of the most eccentric dispositions in the entire NBA whose on-court antics are an absolute thrill to watch. And Jevon Carter is a bulldog who eats rocks and plays the kind of defense that matches that persona.

But it is not enough for the Suns to just bring in players like this, they have to keep them around. To be fair, that is easier said than done in today’s NBA, as guys are quick to jump from team to team. Also, if a player isn’t talented, is a bad fit, or has an expiring expensive contract they have to trade, no personality in the world is going to be worth re-signing that player.

That being said, there is a reason the league restructured the collective bargaining agreement several years ago to make it more attractive for players to remain with the same team long term. It helps drive up fan interest.

The Suns have not been able to do this, and the constant roster turnover we have seen in the Devin Booker era must end. On-the-fence fans want to love a team beyond their win-loss record. They want to relate, invest, and genuinely like the players they are cheering for. They do not want to learn to like 10-plus new names and faces every season. James Jones would be smart to keep this in mind when constructing the roster.