This one time, at basketball camp, a (really) big guy broke a glass door. People were upset. Hot takes were given. Lives were ruined. Careers were made. Now, after all these years, we can finally share a first-hand account from the person who set off a chain of events that culminated in oh-so-much glass being shed.

It's been a long time since Robin Lopez was a young, highly athletic freak of raw basketball talent and emotional fury. He's settled into the life now of a middle age player with the New York Knicks where he'll be asked to anchor the defense, put back some Melo misses, and terrorize the occasional mascot for the enjoyment of all.

Never forget: basketball is entertainment and Robin Lopez knows about entertainment. His lifetime of dedication to the study of the comic book arts and all things Disney has prepared him perfectly to be the NBA's greatest heel.

But it wasn't always this way.

There was a time, roughly December 9, 2009, when the Phoenix Suns' 21-year-old was on the verge of something but it wasn't entirely clear what that something was. He'd barely played 10 mpg in his rookie year behind the resurgent Shaq and missed the first month of his sophomore campaign with a foot broken during training camp.

He was definitely a large man with a lot of energy but would he be an actual NBA center?

Not if he was getting schooled by Jarron Collins in 3-on-3 practice games. At least that's what the hottest of takes would have been if we knew then what is known now.

On that fateful early December day on the practice court beneath the arena Lopez was fighting hard to prove himself to a general manager (Steve Kerr) who predicted he'd be the best Lopez twin drafted and to a coach (Alvin Gentry) who let him off the bench for all of 2:48 the night before in a game against the Dallas Mavericks.

That Robin played with a passion was evident in his very first summer league where he assumed what would become his trademarked hunched over defensive stance and screamed in the face of some poor perimeter player who was just trying to keep his team's offense in some kind of flow.

That passion would resurface all too loudly in what's gone down in Phoenix Suns' lore as the Robin Door Incident. I believe that door is still called Robin's Door since he paid for its replacement.

That last part is only true in my mind. I seriously doubt any of the thousands of players or media or staff who have passed through that very same door have given any thought to its vital historical significance.

If by some chance you are unfamiliar with this matter of great import, I direct you to the dispatch I provided on that very day.

It was one of hundreds of times I stood on the baseline after practice listening to Alvin Gentry or some other Suns coach respond to whatever dumb questions we threw out. This day, however, is etched in my memory in the way only a traumatically loud explosion of glass followed by an equally loud explosion of Gentry expletives can achieve.

Over the years since Robin's Door there had been rumors in Suns' media circles that Jarron Collins of all people was the spark that ignited Lopez' dynamite on December 9, 2009. Jarron Collins was a deep bench player for the Suns known for his ability to commit up to six fouls per game and occasionally place his body in the path of an on-coming offensive player. He was thought to have the range of a poorly constructed paper airplane and was known to have the personality of a large teddy bear.

It was said around the pregame tables of perfectly adequate media buffet food that Jarron had drained the winning shot in Robin's face. A 15-footer followed by an equally unbelievable outburst of trash talking from one elder Stanford alum to his younger mentee. Could that possibly be true?

Thanks to the intrepid reporting of Mr. Bram Kincheloe for Golden State of Mind, we finally have the official answer from Mr. Collins himself:

"See, I love how this story just grows, you know. It's like Al Bundy from Polk High, 'the four touchdowns I scored that one game!' 'We're talking about practice?!' You know? (laughs).

[...] I can verify that I did hit the game winner. It was a fifteen foot jumper. I may have said something. And Robin did break a door. So, there you go."

There you go, Suns fans. Case closed. I hope whatever lingering resentment you had towards Robin Lopez during his time in Phoenix can be put into perspective by this career-altering incident in which he was beat by Jarron Collins and lost his shit on a poor, unsuspecting glass door.

You will hopefully also recall that Robin went on to take over the starting center job for that Suns team and his impact helped propel the squad to the third seed in the West and a conference finals matchup they perhaps would have won had the Door Buster not injured his back (ironically in game against the Knicks) late in the season.

Jarron Collins would take over Robin's spot in the starting lineup and eventually won a ring as an assistant coach on the Golden State Warriors where he worked under Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry.

The circle is now squared.


Here's a little remix of the audio of the door breaking. You'll hear Gentry talking and then BAM! And then it loops a bit for fun.

The Phoenix Suns fell to the San Antonio Spurs in Monday night's Summer League championship game. Devin Booker and Nate Bjorkgren spoke after the loss.

Well friends, the Phoenix 2015 NBA Summer League run as come to an end. While it didn't end the way that any of us would've liked, there are certainly plenty of positives for the Suns we can take away after the week in Vegas. Most important of course, Alex Len didn't get hurt this time.

Turnovers were the killer last night. The Suns got another big scoring performance, this time from Mike James, but his 32 points weren't enough to compensate for the mistakes against the Spurs. Suns first round draft pick Devin Booker, who scored 31 on Sunday night, talked about what Phoenix could've done differently against San Antonio.

"Just play together better. On the offensive and defensive end. We were just guarding our own man when you need to help out your teammate. You know, it's learning. We hadn't had two days of practice before we got here, so overall we played well."

Booker addressed his growth this week, getting his first taste of NBA competition.

"Just getting a feel for the nba flow. It's a lot different from college. The games are much longer. People are a lot bigger, stronger, faster out there. So you just have to adjust and think about the game."

Despite the loss in the championship, Summer Suns coach Nate Bjorkgren seemed pleased with the performances he got out of the team this week, particularly on the defensive side.

"It's been a great week. To play like we did, I thought defensively we were very good, which was the big thing I wanted to emphasize this year in summer league. (We) played all the way to that final game, and it says a lot about these young guys and where we're going."

More so than many Summer League teams, this season's Suns really seemed to grow together during the week. At different times different players were the go-to guy and several Suns stepped up defensively. Phoenix got big efforts from the likely (T.J. Warren) and unlikely (Jorts).

"I thought from the Suns guys, Alex, and TJ, and Devin Booker, those guys grew as we moved along. It's going to take those defensive stops and really locking in on D to create things on offense when it comes regular season time. So i saw a lot of nice things from all those guys."

Unsurprisingly, when asked about his favorite part of the 2015 NBA Summer League, Bjorkgren only mentioned Big Jorts. No, sorry. He didn't.

"Just being around these guys. I loved coaching these guys. I told everyone of them that in the locker room. Just being a part of the Phoenix Suns. It means a lot and I'm really looking forward to the season."

That's probably the better, more diplomatic answer. The Suns wrap up Summer League play with a 5-2 record, and I still hate the Spurs.

Where does the Suns "young core" rank?

"I'm excited just to learn from him. He said he wants to be my mentor. I'm really excited about it." Alex Len is looking forward to learning from the Suns new addition to the frontcourt, Tyson Chandler.

"I love the coaches. And I love the city of Phoenix. I love what the organization is doing and what it means to the city. It kind of made my decision to get it done quickly a no-brainer." Brandon Knight is a Phoenix Sun.

T.J. Warren was named to the 2015 NBA Summer League's All-First Team with Doug McDermott, Kyle Anderson, Seth Curry, and Norman Powell. ranks the Phoenix Suns' "young core" among the bottom third of the NBA.

If that's true, the Suns have a tough road ahead of them, as many believe the NBA's Western Conference got even better this offseason.

At least one person thinks the Suns will be in the hunt for a playoff spot. Sorry Phoenix fans, it's Chris Broussard.

The husband of a female Suns fan shared an email from a Phoenix ticket representative alleging the rep was hitting on his wife.

Former Phoenix Suns forward Craig Dykema will be inducted into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame on November 12th.

Auditions for the Suns dance team will take place August 1st at Talking Stick Resort. Prep classes will be held July 22nd and July 29th from 6pm to 9:30pm at the US Airways Center.

One assessment is that former Phoenix forward Marcus Morris will be better off without his brother next season.

The dual playmaker system is alive and well, and will be roaming the courts of Phoenix for a long time to come. Whether you like it or not, the Phoenix Suns really, really do.

In the past ten months, they committed $140 million to play Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight at the starting guards for the next few years, likely sharing the court about half the game and alternating at point guard. Coming off the bench, it appears, will be rookie-contract guys like Archie Goodwin, Devin Booker and (maybe next year?) Bogdan Bogdanovic as well as mid-to-low paid veterans.

If you weren't convinced of the Suns' commitment to this lineup, watch the press conference.

I don't quite have time to transcribe the conference, so here are the paraphrased talking points:

  • When the combo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe didn't work out in year two (and would have cost even more for an older core of players if it did), the Suns turned quickly to Brandon to share time with Eric.
  • Knight is still improving, just turned 23 this spring despite four years in the NBA already. "I'm young and old at the same time."
  • Knight said the time he was injured allowed him to decompress and see the organization for what it was: a top notch organization from the top to the bottom, and somewhere he wanted to stay for a long time to come.
  • Knight never considered other offers. He flew to LA to meet with the Suns at 9pm on June 30 (or, midnight July 1) to sit down and agree to the contract.
  • He asked to participate in the Tyson Chandler and LaMarcus Aldridge meetings to help sell them on the Suns, and wanted to wait to sign last so the Suns could spend more money on other players.
  • On his third NBA team in 4 years, despite always being a starting caliber player, Knight wants to find a long term home (explaining why he never considered a short-term deal this summer).
  • He knows how to play with Bledsoe, that they each have their strengths and weaknesses and wants to share the floor with him. He knows what he signed up for.
  • Lon Babby said the Suns were at times immature and unprofessional last year, and that Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler will correct that problem.
  • Jeff Hornacek said Knight will be their talker on offense (getting the guys in the right spots) while Chandler will be the talker on defense.
It was pretty much a feel-good presser, as you might expect. I tried to ask the straight up questions, and they gave straight up answers.


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