36 unbothered: The revamped Suns sunburst jerseys
Oct 2, 2023, 7:30 PM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Devin Booker left the Phoenix Suns’ second elimination game blowout loss in the conference semifinals without saying a word. At least to the media.
He went into the offseason without addressing what happened, both after the game and at exit interviews the next day, only posting a vague social media post “36 unbothered” afterward, two days following the firing of head coach Monty Williams. What was first speculated by fans as a reference to his and Kevin Durant’s added-up jersey numbers was later corrected by Booker: He was just cruising through 36 holes of golf.
Regardless, he unknowingly created a nickname for the Suns’ superstar duo in the process.
To keep us occupied until the Oct. 24 season opener against the Golden State Warriors, which is 23 days away from Sunday, Empire of the Suns podcast co-hosts Kellan Olson and Kevin Zimmerman will be joined by Arizona Sports contributor Erik Ruby to dish on 36 key storylines for Phoenix’s 2023-24 season.
Day 36: Devin Booker enters his prime
Day 35: The Suns have put in the work this summer
Day 34: Suns do have some continuity with returning bench players
Day 33: Kevin Durant gets integrated
Day 32: Bradley Beal proving something
Day 31: How the Big 3 develop chemistry
Day 30: Mat Ishbia’s first full season as owner
Day 29: How does Suns’ place of play change without Chris Paul
Day 28: Suns can maximize Yuta Watanabe in proper role
Day 27: Deandre Ayton finally is traded
Day 26: Who is Suns’ biggest threat in Western Conference?
Day 25: Matrix and STAT in Ring of Honor
Day 24: Phoenix Suns’ most appetizing lineups combinations
Day 23: The importance of Kevin Young’s return to the Suns
Day 22: The revamped Suns sunburst jerseys
Erik Ruby: Nothing better than a fresh coat of paint on the mansion you just spent a ton of money on. We got the first real look at Phoenix’s new threads they’ll be rocking this season at media day.
Personally, it helped cement the fact that we are about to embark on a ride this city has never seen before.
Of course, Phoenix has seen great teams before, even teams with championship expectations. However, this time feels different.
Having a unique set of jerseys provides more clarity about the start, and end, of an era in Suns basketball.
Nobody on this team besides Devin Booker was on the roster when they made the finals. Chris Paul is a Warrior, Deandre Ayton is a Trail Blazer, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are Nets, Cam Payne and Jae Crowder are Bucks.
Along with the sentimental aspect of new jerseys, they look clean as well. A nod to the past with a futuristic spin makes the new getup easy on the eyes and easier to make memories with.
Kellan Olson: I think they look good. But I always say I want to see them on the floor first before making any more declarations. Standby on that. Did look good at media day.
I will choose to use this topic and space to propose what I have for a while now on jerseys. Every couple of seasons, allow each fanbase to vote for their five favorite jerseys from team history. Those are the five jerseys for the team that season. Hell, let the players do it for some years.
Take the best of the best. For my trio in Phoenix, I’d pitch the white retro sunburst from the Barkley days, the black The Valley unis and the underrated turquoise look from last season. Logistically, the league is going to turn and burn new jerseys so fans keep buying them instead of putting out too many repeats. But this really hit me last year when the Suns had the purple sunbursts, and now they are just gone again. Why?!?! They should never not wear a sunburst over a season. I rest my case.
Kevin Zimmerman: There’s a retro vibe to these, of course, with a new-era priority of cleanliness to them. I like that they’re somewhere between the Arizona Cardinals’ new jerseys that are almost too clean and devoid of, you know, graphics, and being too busy.
Somehow, the colors really pop on these — someone with a better eye can tell me if they’ve actually tweaked the color palette over the years.
Where do I rank ’em? It’s hard to top the Barkley-era sunburst fits, The Valley jerseys that had a tie-in to what felt like a re-assembling of tired Suns a few years back or the turquoise uniforms that had a lot of thought put into them to honor our Native American cultures.
These things probably eek into my top-five.