It’s okay to be a little jealous. Really. It makes sense.
Consider the plight of the Suns.
They are tethered to the 13th pick in the draft for seemingly the 13th consecutive year.
The coach is perhaps a target of a coaching search by his alma mater — and even if he isn’t, you’re a little alarmed that he’d make more money coaching college kids in Ames, Iowa, than he would coaching pros in Phoenix, Arizona.
They’ll likely spend the summer renewing their vows to a two-point guard system that may or may not actually work.
And anyone who says “things are better in twos” clearly never met the Morris twins.
With the NBA Finals approaching, you can cast your eyes to the West and see your former GM is now the Golden State Warriors’ head coach. Your former coach is now their assistant, who parlayed the team’s success into a highly-coveted head coaching job. The style of play that you once swore to friends was capable of winning it all is four wins away from actually doing it.
Glance longingly to the East and you’ll see the former Suns media relations guy-turned-Wonderboy GM. You’ll see one of the remaining artifacts from the aforementioned “Seven Seconds or Less” era on the verge of another title.
You might be wondering what you did to deserve all this. If you want to feel that way, go right ahead.
If you could, you’d pull a Superman; fly as fast as you can around Planet Orange, send us back in time and allow us to keep Steve Kerr, Alvin Gentry and/or David Griffin. Perhaps you’ve caught yourself thinking that if they still had one or more of those guys the Suns wouldn’t be in the spot they are.
Or perhaps you read Dan Bickley’s column in which Gentry himself says, “If (the Suns) hadn’t gotten rid of people, that would’ve been us.”
The problem with that — aside from the whole flawed time travel thing — is that there are no guarantees anything would be any different. None. It’s an overly simple solution to an incredibly complex problem.
After the Suns’ last appearance in the Western Conference Finals it was widely believed by everyone they were on the doorstep of a major rebuild. Steve Nash was getting old. Amar’e Stoudamire’s knees were getting creaky. The run and the fun was over. It was going to be a challenge no matter who was in charge.
You could argue Kerr or Gentry or Griffin would have attacked the problem and yielded better results, and maybe you’re right. If you want to argue that they would have done better than Lance Blanks — the second-worst GM in Phoenix sports history — then you’re probably right. But maybe you’re wrong. You just don’t know.
Rebuilding in the NBA is hard — the hardest of any of the major team sports. It’s a job made easier when you have superstars like Steph Curry and LeBron James to build around.
No disrespect (something you’re required to say right before you disrespect someone) to Kerr or Gentry or Griffin, but they aren’t the primary reasons why their teams are where they are. Those three certainly deserve credit for shaping the clay.
The problem for the Suns five years ago was that they were fresh out of clay.