It's bad enough that not one Phoenix Suns player was invited to participate in All-Star weekend festivities. In fact, only one player on the current Suns roster has EVER been named to an All-Star team: 17th year backup center Jermaine O'Neal.

In two of the past three seasons, the Suns have not sent a single player to represent the team in any activity, this after 10 straight seasons of at least one invitation in some form.

The Suns current roster does boast 4 different 'Rising Stars' participants (Wesley Johnson, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola) in the last 5 years, selected for being one of the top first- or second-year players in the game that year.

Yet is it worse that none of the Suns' former players are All-Stars either? None of Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson or Shawn Marion were picked for the big game or any peripheral event either.

Here is the history of Phoenix Suns players participating in All-Star weekend (current Suns' past attendance in parentheses).




All-Star: Steve Nash

Rookie/Soph Star: Markieff Morris



*Rookie/Soph Star: Wesley Johnson (Minnesota)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire

Skills Challenge: Steve Nash

3-Point Shootout: Channing Frye

*Rookie/Soph Star: Michael Beasley (Miami)


All-Star: Shaquille O'Neal, Amare Stoudemire

*Rookie/Soph Star: Michael Beasley (Miami), Luis Scola (Houston)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire

3-Point Shootout: Steve Nash

*Rookie/Soph Star: Luis Scola (Houston)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Shawn Marion

*Rookie/Soph Star: Channing Frye (Knicks)

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion

Shooting Star: Shawn Marion

Skills Challenge: Steve Nash

Slam Dunk: Amare Stoudemire

Rookie/Soph Star: Amare Stoudemire

3-Point Shootout: Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


Rookie/Soph Star: Amare Stoudemire

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Stephon Marbury, Shawn Marion

Slam Dunk: Amare Stoudemire

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


Rookie/Soph Star: Joe Johnson

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star Game: Jason Kidd

Rookie/Soph Star: Shawn Marion


All-Star Game: Jason Kidd

Rookie/Soph Star: Shawn Marion


Suns fans who hate to see their former players in other uniforms just might not have to see Grant Hill in a Clipper uniform for much longer.

Hill signed a two-year deal with the Clippers last summer after not getting offered a contract by the Suns. But only the first year is guaranteed, and Hill has played only 14 games this season while fighting off two knee injuries.

When the Clippers played Orlando recently, Hill was asked by the Magic beat writer about his future.

Hill gave every indication to me [Brian Schmitz] that he'll retire after the season, his first with the Los Angeles Clippers and 18th in the NBA.

"I'm 40 - come on," he said.

Fittingly, cruelly, in his final season, Grant has had to overcome two knee surgeries, having played just 14 games for the Clippers.

He doesn't buy the notion that his body was preserved sitting out most of his seven seasons wearing Magic colors.

"Doesn't matter. Forty is still 40," he said.

After being labeled the "next Jordan" while Jordan was still Jordan (but regressing ever so slightly), Grant Hill became one of the best free agents in the history of free agency. He signed a huge deal with Orlando (with Lon Babby as his agent), but only played a small fraction of that time due to myriad injuries. He went recovered his game in Phoenix for 6 seasons (still with Babby as his agent), becoming part of the fabric of the franchise during his tenure in the Valley.

But Hill missed a lot of his final season with the Suns due to multiple knee issues and, at 39, projected to start missing even more time in subsequent seasons. The Suns allowed him to move on while they turned away from their pair of almost-40 stars to jumpstart their future.

If Hill doesn't go directly into politics after his retirement, I hope he stays in the NBA as a front-office executive.

"Whenever Grant retires, he will have a world of opportunities to consider," Lon Babby said of Hill. "If he wants to work with an NBA team, he would be an outstanding addition to any organization."

I will start the campaign right here, right now to get him signed to join the Phoenix Suns front office next season!

He can be a special assistant to Lon Babby, his agent for more than a dozen years in the NBA until Babby took over the Suns basketball operations in 2010. I'm sure it was tough for Babby to let Hill go this past summer.

Maybe this is their chance to work together again?

Start beating the drum!!

Grant for Vice President of Basketball Operations!


NBA teams, and the Phoenix Suns in particular, do a lot of charity work. The players spent time at Phoenix Childrens Hospital last fall, including donating money during a radio-thon hosted by KTAR/92.3/ArizonaSports, right before training camp.

The Suns organization is also active in the community, including adopting a local high school - a program called SunsCentral - to allow an inner-city school (Central High) to add teachers and support staff and cut the teacher-student ratio down significantly. The Suns are providing $500,000 over two years as just the start of the program.

Players do a lot of charity work too, including on their off-day in Memphis this week.

"For a lot of the players and coaches this was their first trip to St. Jude," wrote Marcus Watson, PR Coordinator at St. Jude, in an email, "And their first interaction with our patients and their families."



"The kids enjoyed getting to meet the Suns," Watson continued. "At St. Jude we try to make life for our patients as normal as possible and when the players come to the hospital it serves as a chance for our patients who might not get to leave the hospital due to their treatment a chance to experience moments that other children should get."


If Suns fans would like to help the kids of St. Jude, you should visit www.stjude.org/hoops.

The team will also be doing more during Hoops for St. Jude week which will be Feb. 24 - March 4.

The Phoenix Suns let a very winnable game slip through their fingers Wednesday night in New Orleans. They visibly ran out of gas down the stretch and succumbed to the Hornets 93-84. Though the Suns...

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Well, let's see. Story lines for this game. hmmmm. Well...OK. There was a game played, we can start with that. We know who won. We know who lost. We know who scored how many points and stuff. Beyond that???

Yeah, this one was pretty unforgettable. The Suns played well. Not horrible. Not good. Well. At least in the first half. In the second half, they we much less well.

The Hornets played similarly well. Slight better, of course, as indicated by the final score of which they had more (scores).

Given that the NBA Draft Lottery is the most important date on the Suns post season schedule (just go with me on this), losing to the Hornets is certainly a lose-win situation. The Suns win by losing.

I honestly can't think of anything else to say about this game. It may be that I've watched too much basketball over the past few years so unless something amazing happens, I no longer notice the routine. As you know by now from reading this great recap, nothing amazing happened in this game.

I guess I'll go to the old standby when the writing of words in coherent fashion proves to be beyond my already meager abilities -- bullet points.

- Anthony Davis was very unimpressive in this game. I'm sure he'll be great but he certainly doesn't look great now. He looks....tall. Eight points, one rebound, 20 minutes.

- Michael Beasley and Shannon Brown had an intense competition to see who could play more selfish and inefficient basketball. Edge goes to Brown for his 3-9 effort in 16 minutes but Michael was strong with his own 5-12 in 20 minutes. Well done, boys. Keep firing!

- Goran was solid in the first half but seemed to run out of gas.

- Gortat: 14 pts, 7 reb.

- Lopez: 11 pts, 8 reb.

- Kendall Marshall reverted to ugly shooting form: 0-2 in 20 minutes with 3 assists. Hey, Kendall, Shawn Marion called and wants his ugly shot back.

Seriously folks, I'm sure there's professional writers out there that covered this game that can tell you more about what happened during the 48 minutes. That's all I got.

Next up for the Suns is a back-to-back, away and home set against the OKC Thunder. That should be fun. And you know what I mean by "fun".

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