PHOENIX SUNS

Burns: Thanks for tanking, Suns, now please don’t do it again

Jun 23, 2017, 11:26 AM | Updated: 4:11 pm

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announces the pick for the Phoenix Suns at the NBA basketball dr...

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announces the pick for the Phoenix Suns at the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Thanks for tanking. Now please don’t do it again.

Say what you will about the Suns’ much-debated strategy but in the end, it landed them maybe the best player in this draft. The one many Suns fans wanted all along: Josh Jackson.

Suddenly, losing all those games and resting a healthy Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

On the night of the draft lottery the Suns plan of tanking – or what Ryan McDonough referred to as “strategically resting” players — looked flawed.

Holding the second-best odds, the Suns fell outside of the top three. Visions of Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz or Jackson evaporated like water on Phoenix concrete in June and the hundreds of fans gathered for the party moaned in despair.

A fan base used to being second best cried out in the usual anguish.

“The system was rigged,” they cried.

The Suns have the worst luck at this. All that losing for nothing.

But in the end, thanks in part to a workout Jackson canceled with the Boston Celtics and the Celtics trade down to No. 3, the Suns were in a unique position to grab a player that they desperately needed and the fan base embraced almost immediately.

Of all of us at Arizona Sports, I believe I was the host most in favor of the tasteless tanking. I looked at it through the eyes of a blackjack player. When you’re dealt an 11 the book says you almost always double down. You may win, you may lose, but that’s the play. Go with the odds and give yourself the best chance to maximize your bet.

When the Suns season turned south in late January, in a year featuring one of the best drafts of the last decade, they doubled down on their 11. It was the right play. Maybe they weren’t dealt a face card on lottery night but in the end, the dealer busted anyway.

Now…time to walk away from the table.

For me, tanking was always a one-year proposition. A one-time deal with the devil that was reflective more of the talent in this draft than anything else. At this point they have enough young talent, future picks and cap space that they shouldn’t have to do it again.

It was the right move to make but hardly enjoyable for your fans, coaches and players. Especially the ones who had to sit night after night with their pride no doubt wounded.

Job well done, Phoenix Suns. Just don’t do it again.

Phoenix Suns

Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban for sports betting...

Arizona Sports

NBA gives Jontay Porter lifetime ban for sports betting

The NBA levied a lifetime ban on Jontay Portay after an investigation found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors.

29 minutes ago

Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against Jusuf Nurkic #20 and Kevi...

Kellan Olson

How the Suns shut down Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards so far this season

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Anthony Edwards has struggled in all three meetings against the Suns. What could change in the first round?

2 hours ago

Domantas Sabonis lights the beam after beating the Warriors...

Associated Press

Sacramento Kings eliminate Golden State Warriors from play-in tournament

The Kings dealt the Warriors a bit of payback in emphatic fashion with a victory that might signal the end of a dynasty.

10 hours ago

Jusuf Nurkic dribbles down the court...

Arizona Sports

Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic posts ‘that’s all folks!’ after Kings take down Draymond Green, Warriors

Shortly after the Warriors were ran out of the play-in tournament by the Kings, Jusuf Nurkic took to X with a simple yet effective post.

11 hours ago

Kevin Durant and Anthony Edwards...

Arizona Sports

Full schedule: Suns-Timberwolves 1st round playoff series starts Saturday

The No. 6 seed Phoenix Suns will travel to meet the No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

11 hours ago

Lakers secure a playoff berth with 110-106 win over the Pelicans....

Associated Press

LeBron James and the Lakers secure a playoff berth with win over the Pelicans

LeBron James had 23 points in Los Angeles Lakers 110-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

13 hours ago

Burns: Thanks for tanking, Suns, now please don’t do it again