Phoenix Suns fans remain engaged despite tumultuous offseason

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

After a disappointing playoff exit, combined with some serious offseason issues, you could forgive Phoenix Suns fans for being a little less engaged going into the 2022-23 season.

But after over 10,000 people packed Footprint Center for an open training practice on Saturday, fan morale appears to be as high as ever at the Suns.

After months of speculation and offseason issues, the Phoenix Suns are looking forward to letting their basketball do the talking in 2022-23.

The Suns have dived through the contractual issue of Deandre Ayton, and most notably the Robert Sarver investigation and subsequent findings. But while that shadow still hovers over the franchise, as does the trade request of veteran forward Jae Crowder, everyone can now look ahead to the on-court aspect.

That includes the fans, who now await their team’s response following the disastrous conclusion to last postseason. The unwavering support was evident as they turned out in mass on Saturday, a detail not lost on head coach Monty Williams.

"“It’s a blessing, man. I talk about Phoenix everywhere I go. I don’t understand why we haven’t been spoken of as a flagship organization, fanbase, and city, based on the quality of life here. But now the basketball team is something that we feel like adds to that, and we saw that today….We have a great fanbase riding with us and that’s pretty cool”, Williams said."

Williams also addressed the off-court issues, promising it won’t distract them on the court like many believe.

"“We’ve had distractions, but we’ve not allowed the distractions to take away from what we do on the floor. Having our fans, part of them with us today, says that there with us on this journey.”"

In fairness, this is a team that’s easy to get behind. Phoenix should remain in championship contention this season, a sacred position to be in after years in the doldrums of the NBA standings.

The inclusion of Cameron Johnson means four of the five starters are homegrown talents; players who fans have supported from their first steps in the league. Then you have Williams and Chris Paul, the duo who played significant roles in bringing success to Phoenix.

Now, a new season starts from scratch, with fans optimistic their team can bounceback from the minor shortcomings that proved fateful in each of the last two postseasons.

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Phoenix basketball is officially back, with the Suns to face the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s NBL later today.