36 unbothered: Jon Bloom takes over for Al McCoy on Suns airwaves

Oct 10, 2023, 7:08 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2023, 8:47 am

Phoenix Suns play-by-play man Jon Bloom...

Phoenix Suns play-by-play man Jon Bloom. (Courtesy Jon Bloom)

(Courtesy Jon Bloom)

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

Day 21: TV antennas and Phoenix Suns basketball for all
Day 20: Is there room on the Suns to unlock Bol Bol?
Day 19: What Grayson Allen brings to Suns
Day 18: Suns’ championship expectations
Day 17: Drew Eubanks could bring pop to Suns’ center group
Day 16: Olympic implications
Day 15: Jusuf Nurkic changes the Suns in the middle

Day 14: Jon Bloom takes over for Al McCoy on Suns airwaves

Erik Ruby: For those of us who grew up in the Valley listening to the legendary voice of Al McCoy narrate the Suns’ seasons, this one will be a little bit strange. The Hall of Famer called it a career after last season, but his shoes will be filled by a worthy replacement.

Jon Bloom has already shown his talent and creativity while calling Phoenix’s road games last season and showed an inclination to describe the game in a beautifully distinct way. You can feel Bloom’s passion and love for the game oozing out of every word he delivers and play he describes unfolding on the court.

McCoy has been a staple of sports in Arizona for as long as many of you reading this have been alive, but luckily for everyone, Bloom has been preparing and learning to take his role and try and bring it to new heights. Even though Suns basketball will be easier to find over the television this year, it will still be worth your time to hear Bloom on the call for all 82, and hopefully a postseason run, right here on Arizona Sports.

Kellan Olson: McCoy is who I wanted to be when I grew up, practicing my play-by-play calls while watching games on the TV or playing them in video games as a kid. I have an immense amount of respect for those that do the job, particularly on the radio side with the amount of responsibility in someone’s hands to paint the picture. Bloom has the craft down and will handle being the one to follow McCoy as best as anyone possibly could. He brings his own style and I’m excited for fans to hear it on a full-time basis.

I’m really happy for Bloom. He brings the perfect blend of passion and attention to detail required out of the profession. It is rare across sports both on and off the floor that a transition from a legend can be handled this smoothly but that will be the case in the games on our airwaves. For anyone who hasn’t yet heard a game called by Bloom, get ready for a treat.

Kevin Zimmerman: Bloomer has the complicated recipe down between being an objective pro in calling a basketball game and also tapping into the most Suns-obsessed fan. He’s among our great pregame and postgame hosts at Arizona Sports who know how to talk down people who five minutes beforehand threw their remotes at their televisions and sought therapy by calling in. I have great admiration for all of their patience.

For Bloom, that comes naturally because he’s an optimist, which is easy to say these days about the Suns but wasn’t just five or so years back. He just gets Suns fans.

With that, I think it will be easy for listeners to connect to him. Bloom probably won’t stop people in their tracks like McCoy would if you ran into him at the local record store, Starbucks or grocery store, etc. But that’s the point. He’s approachable, and that’s a really good place to be when replacing a Hall of Famer.

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36 unbothered: Jon Bloom takes over for Al McCoy on Suns airwaves