Suns notebook: Suns to honor Fitzsimmons - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Suns notebook: Suns to honor Fitzsimmons

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Posted: Monday, August 30, 2004 11:54 pm | Updated: 4:37 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

It's official. Cotton Fitzsimmons will be inducted, posthumously, into the Suns’ Ring of Honor.

Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo said the honor probably will be bestowed sometime late in the upcoming season.

"We're already talking and working on it," Colangelo said. "It's just a matter of when."

Fitzsimmons, the popular vice president, broadcaster and three-time coach, died on July 24.

OLYMPIC FIX?

Add Bryan Colangelo to the list of people who are suggesting ways to improve the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, which finished a humbling third in Athens.

Players and coaches should be picked shortly after the Olympics conclude so they have a full four years to prepare for the next Summer Games, suggested Colangelo, the Suns' president who was a member of the committee that picked this year's disappointing team.

"I'd like to possibly see a group of players commit to a four-year involvement, leading to Beijing," he said. "If you're willing to make the commitment, it should be four years."

He also credited other countries for "getting better" at the game. Their success seems to show that a "continuity of rosters and continuity of coaching staffs" can lead to "better chemistry and better teamwork." Colangelo declined to comment on the makeup of this year’s team, saying he was only part of the group that made the choices and didn't think it was appropriate to critique what happened.

The team's makeup has been vigorously criticized for a lack of perimeter shooting and for having "big name" players who duplicated each other's skills instead of role players who could excel in various parts of the game.

As a result, many thought the team lacked an identity, as it didn't stand out either as an offensive or defensive team.

Also, several top players turned down the invitation to play or accepted, then backed out. Of the original nine players, only Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson made it to Athens.

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