DAN BICKLEY

From D-backs to D-Book, there’s a lot to be thankful for

Nov 22, 2023, 3:22 PM

Devin Booker, Kevin Durant attend a Diamondbacks games...

Devin Booker (L) and Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns attend Game Five of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving is always a welcome respite. It celebrates a trio of F-words: food, family and football. It’s a day that proves gratitude is always the best attitude.

Thanksgiving asks nothing more of us than to stop and smell the stuffing. To forget about all the grievances and fears we are fed on social media, from those who see no profit in goodness and unity. Thanksgiving forces us to acknowledge the good – and there’s a lot of it out there.

Me? I appreciate all the great teams in my life: my family at home, my family on the air and my family at Bonneville International, the greatest media company on the planet. Our company kept everyone employed during the pandemic out of principle, and once gave unexpected company-wide bonuses just to combat the rising cost of living.

It’s true what they say: finding the right company and the right workplace culture is one of the golden tickets to happiness.

There’s more: I’m grateful to the Diamondbacks for the unexpected thrill ride, and the good sense to never alienate or terminate Mike Hazen or Torey Lovullo, the best GM/manager duo in Major League Baseball.

I’m grateful to the pitch clock for helping me fall back in love with the sport of my youth. I’m hopeful an expanded playoff field will make me feel the same way about college football next season.

I’m grateful that Arizona is elite at hosting championships even though we’re not so great at winning them. We are a region capable of hosting the Super Bowl and a raucous PGA Tour stop on the same weekend, and then a NASCAR championship later in the year.

At a time when unabashed homers populate local broadcasts all over this country, I am grateful for the authenticity and candor of Eddie Johnson, Tom Chambers, Dave Pasch and Bob Brenly.
I am grateful for the privilege of covering the old Randy Johnson. And for the unexpected 60 minutes I spent at a Sky Harbor bar over the summer sharing beers and stories with the new Randy Johnson.

I am grateful for Mat Ishbia’s wallet and his appetite for victory. The Suns finally have an owner worthy of Jerry Colangelo, the Godfather of Arizona sports.

I am grateful the Coyotes are now punching back and no longer a punch line. I’m grateful for Chris Paul during his Valley homecoming, and for what he brought to the Suns. And I’m grateful to Devin Booker for where he is taking the Suns.

More than anyone Booker is building a bridge between our painful past and our promising future as a sports town. We are lucky to have snagged this guy with the 13th pick in the NBA draft. But then again, No. 13 is our lucky charm, the number worn by Steve Nash and Kurt Warner.

There’s an old saying: if your path leads through the fires of purgatory, walk like you own the place. That’s what Booker has done from the moment he arrived in Arizona.

Finally, I am grateful for all my great friends, listeners, readers and bandmates. I am grateful for the salsas, the sunsets and that I no longer need an ice scraper in my vehicle.

And on a special day in America, I am grateful that it is no longer torturous watching the Lions play football.

Reach Bickley at dbickley@arizonasports.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on Arizona Sports.

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From D-backs to D-Book, there’s a lot to be thankful for