Suns are most commonly associated with lovable, orange and Steve Nash.

Have you ever played rapid-fire word association, where someone says a word and you have to say the first thing that comes to your mind? If you are honest and unfiltered with your answers, the first thing that comes to mind is generally an emotion-based, deep-down core belief.

Writers throughout SB Nation played a little Word Association with their brethren NBA teams this past week. We each got a list of all NBA teams and fired off the first word that came to mind about that franchise. And the results were quite interesting. When you look at all the words applied to each team, you get a sense of how the rest of the country feels about your team.

Not surprisingly most comments were negative or snarky. It's not that SB Nation writers are pessimists by nature, but rather that one's first reaction to any other NBA team besides their own is simply going to be tainted with distaste. Would your first word about the Mavs, Lakers, Clippers or Spurs be a compliment?

Read on to see what others think about the Phoenix Suns.

Another outcome of the Word Association game is that some "trigger words" just don't engender a reaction at all. If you personally have no opinion on something, you're likely to draw a blank when asked to even give a one-word response to that trigger.

When I took the test, I drew a complete blank on half a dozen NBA teams. What's the first word that comes to mind on the Milwaukee Bucks? Nothing. The Washington Wizards? Zilch. The Charlotte Bobcats? Nada.

On the other hand, it was easy to come up with a quick one-word reaction to Los Angeles Lakers (spoiled), Portland Trailblazers (injured) and Mavericks (goingdown).

But enough about me.

What did other writers have to say about the Phoenix Suns?

Suns-wordassoc_medium

As you can see, a majority of the comments related to bygone Suns - Steve Nash and the Colangelos.

But even worse, many of them were benign. Emotionless.

Apparently, most of the NBA world thinks of the Suns like that lovable little kid down the street. The kid you smile kindly at, and want to rustle his hair or pinch his cheek. When the kid gets bullied, your first reaction is to shrug - like it was meant to happen - and then maybe you want to step in to stop it before it gets out of hand and someone really gets hurt.

At least, that's my reaction after reading these comments.

What did people think of the Suns' foes in the Pacific?

Pacific-wordassoc_medium

This is where you start seeing the dismissive, and sometimes vitriolic, reactions. The Suns may not be the most talented, but they do appear to be the most-liked team in the Pacific. So there's that!

Now let's check out some comments on a couple of other Suns rivals.

Others-wordassoc_medium

Folks associates injury with Portland, consistency with the Spurs and Cuban with Dallas.

If you want to know what people said about other teams, check out the other SBNation blogs on NBAWordAssociation keyword.

What do you all think?

Do these comments really reflect the Suns franchise?

Are people saying the right things about our foes?


He's got a left hook anyway

Mystery solved. The tall guy in the video posted last Friday on Suns voluntary workouts is non other than 6'10" big man Solomon Jones.

"I think there's going to be an opportunity there for him," Jones' agent, Mark Bartelstein, said of Phoenix. "He's worked out hard this summer and he's in great shape."

Jones has been participating over the past week in the Suns' voluntary workouts at US Airways Center.

Solomon Jones has played several seasons in the NBA, but only got a couple of 10-day contracts last season with the Clippers and Hornets. He is tall and has a soft touch around the basket, but is too weak to defend other big men or rebound in traffic.

He's really a camp body while Channing Frye recovers from shoulder surgery, a big man who can run up and down the court during the grind of two-a-days.


Marcin_gortat_kadra092012newspix470_medium

via i.wp.pl

So, you think it's the year of the Dragon?

Think again. There is one guy that has even more to prove.

Marcin Gortat had a pretty good year. He was one of 3 centers to average a double double, he pushed his career averages way up and he cemented himself as a Robin to Nashes Batman.

But now, during a completely new era for the suns he is the backbone of a team searching for new identity. He is the guy that needs to produce each and every day for this team to have a chance of even flirting with a playoff spot. And all that without Steve - the greatest PnR player of all time.

So what did the Hammer do? The only thing he ever knew. He worked his ass off. He carried a mediocre Poland team through Fiba Europe qualifying averaging 21/11/2 in 8 games of the tournament. He battled double and triple teams for a 62 FG% and finished the key game against Finland with a 4/4 final quarter and a 27/21 double double.

He is hungry. He knows Euro Quali was nothing compared to the NBA regular season. But he seems ready. He seems determined to prove he is a Top 5 all-around center. That ESPN NBA Rank (that advanced him 18 spots BTW year-to-year) still is underestimating him putting so many other Centers in front of him... Nene, Cousins (43% shooting??? Seriously?), Al Jefferson (no D whatsoever), Andrew Bogut (PER 14?!?!?!?!? 12 Games played?), Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler... This seems harsh. Then we have the regulars, that are still better than Marcin - Marc Gasol, Bynum, Howard.

But is Gortat really the 13th best Center in the league? Can Thor allow it? This is the season with no alibi, no Nash, no lockout, no "This is my first season as a starter" BS. This is the Elite center vs. Limited hardworker time.

The time, Suns fans, is now. And it is, it will be, HAMMERTIME!!!!

Marcin_gortat_kadra092012newspix470_medium

via i.wp.pl

So, you think it's the year of the Dragon?

Think again. There is one guy that has even more to prove.

Marcin Gortat had a pretty good year. He was one of 3 centers to average a double double, he pushed his career averages way up and he cemented himself as a Robin to Nashes Batman.

But now, during a completely new era for the suns he is the backbone of a team searching for new identity. He is the guy that needs to produce each and every day for this team to have a chance of even flirting with a playoff spot. And all that without Steve - the greatest PnR player of all time.

So what did the Hammer do? The only thing he ever knew. He worked his ass off. He carried a mediocre Poland team through Fiba Europe qualifying averaging 21/11/2 in 8 games of the tournament. He battled double and triple teams for a 62 FG% and finished the key game against Finland with a 4/4 final quarter and a 27/21 double double.

He is hungry. He knows Euro Quali was nothing compared to the NBA regular season. But he seems ready. He seems determined to prove he is a Top 5 all-around center. That ESPN NBA Rank (that advanced him 18 spots BTW year-to-year) still is underestimating him putting so many other Centers in front of him... Nene, Cousins (43% shooting??? Seriously?), Al Jefferson (no D whatsoever), Andrew Bogut (PER 14?!?!?!?!? 12 Games played?), Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler... This seems harsh. Then we have the regulars, that are still better than Marcin - Marc Gasol, Bynum, Howard.

But is Gortat really the 13th best Center in the league? Can Thor allow it? This is the season with no alibi, no Nash, no lockout, no "This is my first season as a starter" BS. This is the Elite center vs. Limited hardworker time.

The time, Suns fans, is now. And it is, it will be, HAMMERTIME!!!!


ESPN began unveiling the top 50 players in #NBARank today yet the final Phoenix Sun was announced yesterday. That in itself is one more telling indictment of the lack of top end talent on the...

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Rockets.com put together this retrospective on the rise of Goran Dragic from 2008 to 2012. I have to tell you that whoever edited this video did an awesome job. My blood was pumping the entire time.

As our old buddy Seth puts it: Killing it!



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