The Phoenix Suns' front office has some burned bridges to repair. With less than a month before the projected opening day of the 2011-2012 NBA season, Robert Sarver and Suns management must convince an alienated fanbase that they're committed to turning a new leaf and starting anew.
The Suns will start off the preseason against the Denver Nuggets on a to-be-determined date. Today is the first day that contact with player's agents can be made, and Dec. 9 is the first day that free agents can sign contracts.
Sarver's "Project Refresh", initiated during the extended offseason, aims to improve fan relations in every aspect of the franchise. The transition from being a notoriously hard-line owner during the lockout and becoming a franchise ambassador to the fans, will be an awkward one for Sarver. One of the most popular Phoenix Suns of all time, Steve Nash, was vocal about his displeasure with Robert Sarver during the lockout, an opinion shared by the vast majority of Suns fans as a result.
As a Suns fan, I'm going to need a lot more than a new CBA to believe that Robert Sarver is the man for the job. Actions speak louder than words here, certainly, and I'll be happy when I see the Suns front office making deals, leaked information about Lon Babby talking to player agents, and the Suns getting back together to practice.
Suns players can start practicing together, sans coaches, tomorrow. I'd love to be there.