When was the last time the Phoenix Suns made consecutive good decisions? How about three in a row?
Few will complain about the team’s offseason, and that’s an amazing feat for an organization that has given folks plenty to be upset about over the years.
Fire GM Lance Blanks? No qualms there.
Hire Ryan McDonough as general manager? Smooth move.
Make Jeff Hornacek to the new head coach? I can dig it.
Now, winning an offseason does not necessarily translate to winning games (unless you’re the Miami Heat), but it is absolutely a step forward for a franchise that has made a habit of moving backward. Winning a press conference does not guarantee winning a championship, and unless the talent level on the roster improves, the new coach will find success difficult to come by.
Furthermore, don’t believe anyone who tells you the decision to tab Hornacek had nothing to do with the PR side of things, because there’s no chance the names Brian Shaw, Mike Budenholzer and Quin Snyder would have elicited the positive reaction that Hornacek has. That’s not to say the Suns’ choice isn’t qualified, because he is. But you can’t ignore one of the primary benefits of bringing him back into the fold.
Yet, if ever there was a franchise that needed some good PR, the Phoenix Suns were it.
When the 2012-13 season came to a merciful end, few fans had much trust in the team’s leadership, and with good reason. At the time, many thought the franchise’s fortunes would not change for the better until sweeping changes were made, including at the very top.
Some still believe that.
However, there is no arguing that everything the team has done since the season ended is, at the very least, not the wrong move.
Of course, no one knows how McDonough will fare in his new role or how good of a coach Hornacek will be. The “experts” may prove to be wrong, and three years from now we may remember this offseason that ultimately buried this franchise.
Or, maybe we won’t. Maybe it will be looked as the summer when the Suns reversed course and laid the foundation for another successful era.
As the cliché goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it was built. It took time, but piece by piece it rose from the ground up.
The Suns are not going to suddenly turn into championship contenders, and it will be a stretch to say they’ll even compete for a playoff spot next season. But with the moves they’ve made this offseason, it appears they can finally start building.
A small victory, sure, but it’s noteworthy nevertheless.