36 unbothered: TV antennas and Phoenix Suns basketball for all

Oct 3, 2023, 8:30 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2023, 2:57 pm

Mat Ishbia...

Then-incoming Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia laughs during the game between the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns at Little Caesars Arena on February 04, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nic Antaya/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.

Previously –

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: If there is anything the Suns and Mat Ishbia are proving so far, it’s that they are focused on what they should do, not what makes them the most money.

The decline of live sports broadcasting has been a tragic one over the last decade or so. Regional sports networks are cutting off access to everyone’s favorite teams and limiting the number of eyes that can be on a game at one time.

The Suns are changing that: in an unprecedented move earlier this offseason, the organization jumped ship from Bally Sports Arizona and announced a majority of their regular season games will be broadcasted on public channels through Arizona’s Family and Grey Television network.

This move will cost Ishbia a decent chunk of change, as that was the main draw of going to a regional sports network in the first place. However, he might be able to make that money back by expanding the reach of the team dramatically, gaining more fans and goodwill with the Valley.

There is no better team to trot out for your first season. Doing right by the fans will always work out in the long run.

Kellan Olson: The timing could not be better for the move spearheaded by Ishbia. This season’s roster has an argument as the best coming into the year, and now Ishbia is providing more fans locally a chance to watch the team.

I could not tell you how many people asked me or more so complained to me about their collective inability to watch games in the past. For those of you in the Valley, that changes now. Go get yourself an antenna if you’re not on a television with access to channel 3. From that singular investment, you’re set for the long haul.

Ishbia in the grand scheme of things is taking a big hit financially in the short term for that benefit and he even proved it in the smaller sense with the antenna giveaway (not to lightly disregard the financial commitment there as well). Like I said, good timing.

Kevin Zimmerman: Mostly, I’m curious if people forgot how television antennas work or what “bunny ears” means in this context.

Anywho, watching basketball should be simple, and technology has made it difficult. Considering that television money is what often bolsters leagues and teams and revenues, it’s a little wild to me that it’s possible for an owner to take a hit in the wallet like that. But also, like, it’s probably a good idea to have every single adult and child have the ability to watch Phoenix Suns basketball if they plunk down $20 bucks for an antenna.


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