We pause briefly from the Valley’s occupation with hockey lockouts, perennially losing football — now in new, quite resplendent uniforms — and a ho-hum start to the baseball season to present, ladies and gentlemen, your Phoenix Suns.
Those Phoenix Suns. You know, those guys who a few years ago were wonderfully mediocre, sort of out there somewhere while the Diamondbacks were eating up everyone’s attention and getting scads of national press as they marched toward winning the World Series. Remember? Purple jerseys? Their mascot’s a gorilla? The team whose arena roof doesn’t open and close? Yes, them.
Well, for too many Valley residents who ignored them over the past several months, the Suns are back and they are winning. A lot. And they may be the Suns team that finally captures the NBA title for the first time in its history. Valley newcomers may not realize the Suns to be (a) this area’s first major pro sports franchise and (b) holders of this season’s best won-loss record, a tie with the 62-win campaign of 1992-93, when they last went to the league finals.
Today’s Suns’ play is quite arguably the most exciting ever. Steve Nash is favored for the league Most Valuable Player award. How often does a guy from Phoenix get seriously considered for that? Not often.
The Suns’ arrival in high-top sneakers in 1968 came at a time when Phoenix began to come into its own as a destination to not only vacation or retire, but to live. The team was a big ingredient in helping gain for the Valley a reputation as a place to grow and prosper.
Spectator sports aren’t for everyone, but even for people who have little to no interest in them, they do serve to help give a community better identification nationwide. Sports provide a good portion of the stuff, believe it or not, that growth and prosperity is made of.
We congratulate the Suns and wish them well as they embark on what will be an exciting playoffs run. Their first game, in a series against the Memphis Grizzlies, is on. . . Sun-day. That’s a good sign, hmm?