If there's anyone who thinks the events of the past few days is a positive, I've yet to find them.
In other words, not much "Bright Side" around here but at least we have links...
Kerr's Departure Sets Suns And Threatens Vital Team Chemistry - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
But the fact remains that Kerr was a calming and influential force with the team. He bridged the gap between ownership and the coaches and players and he was on exactly the same page with Alvin Gentry. Team trusted him and, as a result, trusted Sarver. Now that important link is gone.
Unless the Suns promote Senior VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin to the job, there will be a huge period of adjustment for anyone coming from the outside and that new GM will be walking right into the middle of the toughest player decision the team has ever faced (Amar'e). The wrong decision here, along with a negative reaction from Nash and Hill, would threaten to destroy the greatest asset the 2009/10 Suns had going -- chemistry.
Stoudemire Gets MRI On Knees While In Miami, Has Nothing To Do With Heat - SB Nation Arizona
According to the Miami Herald, Amar’e Stoudemire — who has been in South Beach training with teammates Jared Dudley and Earl Clark — had MRI tests done on both knees Monday, supposedly to reassure the Phoenix Suns of their stability.
ESPN's J.A. Adande Reporting 'Amare's Done' - SB Nation Arizona
According to ESPN’s J.A. Adande, "Amare’s done. He’s gone." His sources insist that GM Steve Kerr’s resignation was in part because of certain financial limitations placed on him by owner Robert Sarver, and that Kerr’s departure will have a very negative effect on Amare’s future in Phoenix.
and some draft news (because those two 2nd round picks are going to turn things right around)
SUNS: Suns Prepare for 2010 Draft
Phoenix also has held two private workouts at US Airways Center. The first one featured Kyle Gibson from Louisiana Tech, Spain’s Pablo Aguilar, UCONN’s Gavin Edwards, Houston’s Aubrey Coleman, Illinois St.’s Osiris Eldridge and Kentucky’s Perry Stevenson.
In the second workout, the Suns evaluated Western Kentucky’s Jeremy Evans and AJ Slaughter, as well as Northeastern’s Matt Janning, Louisiana Tech’s Magnum Rolle, Alabama’s Mikhail Torrance and Jeremy Wise of the D-League.
From the Republic
Steve Kerr's exit suggests Phoenix Suns' Robert Sarver still has work to do
Steve Kerr is walking out the door, and it feels a little like Robert Sarver is holding it open for him. No, the Suns' managing partner didn't want his general manager to go. You can't help but feel, however, that if Sarver had created a better work environment, Kerr would have jumped at the opportunity to stay.
azcentral.com blogs - Bruce Cooper Blog - BruceCooper - This is a mess. Where's Jerry?
Jerry Colangelo where are you when the Phoenix Suns need you most? That's the question many Suns fans are asking today. Under Colangelo's watch Phoenix was a desired playing stop for many of the games top players. The Suns were considered one of the model franchises in the NBA. Colangelo knew how to treat and take care of his players, coaches and employees.
Phoenix Suns begin search for general manager
San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, who turned down the Minnesota GM job last year, is known to be a person of interest. There are other up-and-coming front-office executives, such as Los Angeles Lakers assistant GM Ronnie Lester and new Minnesota assistant GM Tony Ronzone, who also could be considered. Ronzone lives in the Valley and worked in scouting and basketball operations with Detroit from 2001 until his hire with Minnesota last month.
Denver Vice President of Player Personnel Rex Chapman, a former Suns director of basketball operations under Sarver, also has kept the Valley as his home. He is best friends with Steve Nash, who said he would not have considered signing with Phoenix in 2004 if it was not for Chapman. Another local-tie possibility is Phoenix native Dave Babcock, the Milwaukee director of player personnel.
azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Suns dish - PaulCoro - Why Griffin is leaving
It is known that Griffin's decision is tied to Kerr's startling turnabout, one that came this week when a TNT opportunity became more and more attractive in light of the two weeks of talks he had on his contract and other basketball matters with Sarver. Griffin and Kerr shared a vision for the future of the franchise. Without Kerr, Griffin could no longer connect to the direction of the club.
and some more..
Why the Suns need Charles Barkley
Steve Kerr is out, so I have an absolutely perfect idea for his replacement... Charles Barkley! No kidding! Let's face it, who doesn't like Charles Barkley?
KTAR.com - Green: I can no longer defend Sarver
I used to be, for lack of a better term, a Robert Sarver apologist. People would call him cheap; I'd point to a payroll that is among the league's highest. People would say he's a jerk, I'd tell them you don't get to be where he is, in business, if you don't have that side to you. People would say he didn't care about winning, I'd argue there is no way that is true; I'd admit that maybe he didn't know how to win, but I always felt he wanted to. Well, those days are over.
Phoenix Suns start search for front office stability with David Griffin out of the running | Valley of the Suns
I felt like transitioning from Kerr to Griffin wouldn’t be much of a transition. Griffin has played a major role in every big decision made since Bryan Colangelo left, and handing the baton to him would have kept things as business as usual as possible. Instead the Suns will now have a lame duck assistant GM joining a lame duck GM at the draft (I think that confirms the fact that the Suns won’t be trading up; at least they can’t screw up the 46th and 60th selections too badly).
And critically they will be starting a GM search during the time they should be finalizing plans on making a full-fledged attempt at bringing Amare Stoudemire back or acquiring his replacement. If a couple bounces had gone the other way (I’m looking at you, Artest), the Suns could be hosting Game 7 of the NBA Finals tonight against the Boston Celtics. Instead the Suns are on the clock figuring out how to put their front office back together before the clock strikes midnight on the start of free agency.
Amar'e Stoudemire Free Agency | Steve Kerr Leaves Suns | SportsGrid
Therefore, the million dollar question for the Suns is: What will be the identity of this team next year? Sadly, it is hard for us to imagine that–without Amare–the Phoenix Suns could resemble the exciting, endearing success-story that they typified this year. And for this reason, this moment, caught on camera at the end of the year, is beginning to make more and more sense.
Say, what the hell is going on? A few weeks ago, our Suns were fighting for a finals birth. An unexpected one. An impressive one. One that was enabled by the work of David Griffin, Steve Kerr, Alvin Gentry, and of course your players. Let us not forget us fans filling U.S. Airways Arena, drinking your beer and eating your hot dogs for premium prices. Now, it is all unraveling fast before our very eyes.
WTF Robert? What is REALLY going on? We of the Suns nation deserve more than your little interview yesterday on KTAR, which was nothing -- not PR, not damage control, not information of any kind of substance or value.
You sounded like one of those old Enron Execs or something. Was your lawyer in the studio with you? Just a joke -- this isn't a rant to insult you; that's being done elsewhere by a bunch of bloodthirsty jackals.
Not me, sir. I'm writing with all due respect.
So down to brass tacks and the purpose of my correspondence: What are your plans? Are you blowing this team up? Who's next, the players? Amare ... yeah, we get it; that's over. But what about the other winners that have made you so much money, that we all love and respect so much? Steve Nash? Grant Hill? Dudz, JRich? Lou and Frye (yeah, I'm sure they'll be demanding too much), Goran? The rest?
How's about Alvin Gentry? He's a good man, right? And he led our team through the ups and downs of this past season. How does he feel now? Maybe a vote of confidence ($ and security) would be smart or nice, or something to show some appreciation. A pat on the back these days doesn't pay the bills.
Hello? Bob? You there?
Listen, I'll be honest, you aren't looking so good right now. We don't really trust you and we have no idea what comes next. What are your motives? You can understand us being nervous, right? I mean, are you trying to fund a villa in Nice, or a yacht bigger than most of our homes, or are you trying to get the Suns franchise over the hump and into championship contention? Doesn't sound like the latter to me. In fact, it kind of seems like every time we have reason to believe we're going in the right direction as a franchise, you make Negative Nancys out of us.
Oh and this other thing that's bugging me personally: You really blew the BSOTS player evaluation project. We were rolling pretty good. Trevor, Watadogg, and myself were putting up some good work. Even Basketball Girlfriend was going to contribute as a means to celebrate our season and get over the disappointment of losing to the evil empire in LA.
You really screwed that up now, Bob. Do we continue in spite of the recent news, or do we just forget it, because a lot of us are considering taking up antidepressants, OD'ing on Krispy Kremes, or skipping work to get a 5th of Ten High and find a hole to crawl into.
Bob, your life is good. We congratulate you on your millions, but let's not forget who made a lot of that possible. So, here's an open invite to address some of the most intelligent, die-hard Suns fans. Why not give me a call or email and we can arrange an online interview where you can justify yourself and give us some truth.
PS: Some of my my fellow common men may have some words for you below ... (Let's hear it, Bright Siders ... He'll read it, I'm positive).
[Note by Wil Cantrell, 06/17/10 10:00 AM MST ]:
In light of all the negativity of the past two days I think it's time to get back to celebrating a fantastic season and the players who helped make it happen ... Let's not let Bob Sarv stop our party ...Onward:
This is the fifth installment in our series of Suns player evaluations. We're going back to school using the old A-F grading system, weighing numbers, opinions, and all that cannot be captured in a statistic--value each player added to the Suns improbable run to the 2010 Western Conference Finals.
We're about to throw a grade at a class act. We're about to judge a man who's already proven his worth by three times winning the NBA's Sportsmanship Award and seven times owning that enviable All-Star status. We're going to examine a fellow who exemplifies what being a team player is all about, with loads of professionalism and leadership just a-swinging in his wake. It's our man Grant, a Hill of a Man. Grant Hill truly personifies the meaning of sportsmanship and love for the game, and this was evidenced by his tremendous efforts during the 2009-10 Phoenix Suns basketball season.
This isn't just about numbers and statistics, either. Okay, so Hill averaged 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds this season (his highest rebounding average since 2002-03 and his most total rebounds - 445 - in a single season since 1999-00), but did anyone else notice that he seems to be pulling a Clooney on us? I mean, the man just gets hotter and hotter with age. Ask any female NBA basketball fan who they think is the most handsome and they'll likely respond Hill, or with some variation of his name. For this reason I find it difficult to think of even one reason not to give the man an A+. But of course we'll let the fans decide.
Morals. Values. A face you can trust. He could've retired to become a politician (gasp!), but instead Hill decided to keep it real in Arizona and give his heart and soul to the Suns. Hill's amazing attributes cater directly to what propelled the Suns to excel this year. The upbeat, optimistic, grateful and steady Hill pushed his team to succeed. A second season sans injury, with Hill's health often focused on by the media and by pessimistic fans, was a fantastic addition to Hill's outstanding work on the whole.
Hill's outstanding character was magnified during the Western Conference Semifinals, where he saw his first playoff series victory. I'm thinking about the Portland and Spurs games in particular, with Hill's drop-in and lock-down defense and priceless postgame interviews.
Y'all remember this too:
And his age, oh his age ... it seems like whenever he made a great shot or gave us that dependable D someone had to say, "... and that was 37-year-old Grant Hill over in the lane." Next season he'll be 38 and honestly, if he keeps on keeping on the way he's been, he's still going to be better than most of the younger guys out there - in my humble opinion, of course. The basketball dinosaur addressed the issue of his age recently:
"I'd like to prove that I can play until I'm 40. That would be nice. But I'm not going to play if I can't play at a level that I expect. Obviously, I'm not what I was 10 years ago. But I can still contribute and not be a liability. If I'm a liability, it's time to move away, and I'll move away. But, if I've still got it physically and I still have it up here, mentally and emotionally and I have that desire, yeah, I'll play another two or three years.''
Hill is no rookie in this game and he knows that changes are on the horizon. He's shown time and time again that he can adapt to change on the team, and he also knows that there aren't a lot of players that can set him up with a pass like Steve Nash or teams with a game system in which it's easy to make room and time to breathe. It's an easy fit for Hill who has been wise to stick with purple and orange for the latter portion of his career.
Also, it's been said before, and I don't believe it was an accident, that Earl Clark's locker was placed right next to Hill's for a reason. I only hope Clark paid attention to any potential pep talks or pointers that Hill may have imparted (with the best yet to come, I'm sure).
Finally, I love this slideshow. In his own words, Grant Hill modestly reflects on his career. One of my favorite lines consists of Hill looking at a slideshow picture of media day with the Suns for the start of the 09-10 season. He's talking about his pose with Amar'e and Nash, saying "15-20 years from now when they're old and gray and I'm just old, we'll look back...". Grant, we're glad to have you here in the valley of the Sun, and remember - you'll always have fans on the Bright Side.
Final Grade: A+