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The Coliseum served as the home of the Suns from their inception through the 1991-92 season. It may have resembled a dungeon in some respects, but it was still a great place to watch a basketball game. In the waning years of its capacity as the Suns' home court the Madhouse was involved in the a new brand of exhilarating basketball in the desert. On the heels of a cocaine scandal the Suns had one of the most remarkable turnarounds in NBA history.

After winning just 28 games in the 1987-88 season the renascent Suns rose from the proverbial ashes and let slip the dogs of war to the tune of 55 victories. This team was the original Suns' version of seven seconds or less. Maybe they should historically be donned as six seconds or less, because the 1988-89 team averaged a league leading 118.6 points per game. The inferior imitators led by Steve Nash never averaged more than 110.4 point per game.

The roster of that team included a star studded cast of Suns' greats... and some others who were at least notable for various reasons.

  • Tom Chambers
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Eddie Johnson
  • Dan Majerle
  • Tyrone Corbin
  • Mark West
  • Tim Perry
  • Andrew Lang
  • Steve Kerr
  • Craig Hodges
  • and some guy named Jeff Hornacek...
24 seasons ago. Podcast 24. Coincidence? I think not. The Suns have had a habit of sending away players only to have them return as heroes. Let's hope the new hiring follows form.

This week's edition focuses on the hiring of Jeff Hornacek as the Suns' new head coach, some lottery and draft discussion, as well as some playoff talk.

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Do you remember Kendall Marshall? I don't blame you if you don't. It's been a LONG time since the Phoenix Suns last played basketball and a lot has happened since then.

The Blanks Ghost was exorcised. The Suns' streak of bad luck continued with a one-spot drop in the Draft Lottery. Lindsey Hunter was given an "interview" that won him a Light Rail pass to Sky Harbor. And finally, Jeff Hornacek was hired!

Let's talk about that last one because something he said in his introductory press conference caught my ear. Specifically, Horny talked about his awful side-spinning shot that he brought to the NBA and how he was forced to take extreme measures to fix it.

Jeff taped his thumb to his hand to re-teach himself how to get his elbow tucked in and turned an ugly (but somewhat effective) shot into a consistent weapon that carried him through 14 years in the NBA and delivered a career .403 shooting percentage from behind the arc.

To recap: Hornacek entered the NBA as a 6-3 guard with a broken shot but good court vision and passing.

Does that sound familiar? It damn well should since I put Kendall Marshall's name in the freakin' headline and first sentence of this story, dumbass.

Marshall is a 6-3 guard with elite vision and passing skills who can't hit the broad side of a backboard thanks to his own broken shot mechanics. He has a different problem than Hornacek, but one whose only real solution might be probably is a complete teardown and rebuild.

That, however, would require a GREAT deal of commitment and patience on the part of young Kendall. Hornacek discussed what it takes:

"It took about a year and a half to where I really felt comfortable, where i was back at my shooting range. It's a good lesson for me with the young shooters out there now. Every guy there's little things you might tweak, but the emphasis with the guys is you have to stay with it. It's a process."

It's a process. It takes a long time. It's hard.

Will a player of this generation be willing to follow the advice of his old-man coach and do what needs to be done? I am very curious to find out...but doubtful Kendall will go for it.

And if only Horny can teach anyone that beautiful one-legged runner in the lane! But that's another story for another day. In the meantime, enjoy this.


PHOENIX – On May 21, Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough admitted that it was a complex time. The draft lottery had just been settled and McDonough instead gotten blitzed by questions about...

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This year the NBA has flipped the script on Summer League trying to add value to the games and the experience for the players as well as the teams. There will be a formal Championship Game after each team competes in at least five "regular season" games with a single elimination playoffs following.

The Phoenix Suns will be one of 22 teams in Las Vegas for the ninth annual Summer League in the Sin City. They are one of four teams to have competed in every Summer League since its inception in Las Vegas.

Last year the team finished 2-3 in Summer League losing to the D-League Select Team along the way. Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, and Diante Garrett all participated last summer making the NBA roster after quality individual showings. There will be some change this year however with Dan Majerle no longer with the team after coaching the team last year in this event. They will need a new coach, but will likely send the same faces back to continue their development. Having said that, the team could benefit from sending more of the roster up there to develop this summer.

With three picks in the up-coming NBA Draft having a spot in the Summer League this summer is very beneficial for the team to get their young players on the court for competitive basketball before training camp.

The games will be broadcast on NBA TV and played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and at the Cox Pavilion. Games will be played from July 12-22 with the Championship being held on Monday, July 22nd.

Summer League is a great opportunity for prospects as well as another venue for teams to evaluate the professional potential of an individual player as made evident by Tucker this past year. He developed into one of the better defensive wings in the league last year, but easily could have been back in Europe if he did not participate in summer hoops affair.

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Ryan McDonough was first made aware of Jeff Hornacek's potential nine years ago when Danny Ainge was looking for a new coach in 2004. McDonough had just recently joined the organization when Hornacek was contacted without even having spent a minute on the sidelines as a coach in any capacity.

Hornacek said Ainge called him out of the blue in 2004, promising that he was one of three finalists (though Hornacek was a backup plan to their #1 choice). But after a night of tossing and turning, Horny decided he wasn't interested quite yet. He wanted to wait until all of his kids were out of high school at the least.

Since then, Hornacek entered coaching while McDonough kept tabs from afar.

"I had [Jeff] in the back of my mind the whole time that he was the guy we might want," McDonough told me today. "But I didn't know him personally, so I kind of slotted him in the middle. I wanted to meet a few guys before him and get to know them and then have a few guys lined up after him."

I've got to tell you - hearing McDonough speak with candor and conviction, in that baritone voice, leaves you certain he just told you the honest truth. I like this guy in charge of the Suns.

"But he came in and did so well," McDonough continued, "That I said, okay, there's interest here from other teams. He was interviewing for other jobs. As you know there are a number of other head coaching openings around the league. He went to another interview right after he met with us and did very well there from what we heard."

It's interesting to note that when Hornacek was offered the Suns position there were seven, going on eight, coaching openings in the NBA.

Within two days of Hornacek accepting the Suns offer, three of those remaining seven positions are now filled. Hornacek had interviewed with Charlotte, who hired someone else yesterday and with at least Philadelphia if not others.

McDonough learned from Danny Ainge to be "unafraid". So he went after Hornacek before losing him.

"I said okay, if this is our guy we're not going to drag our feet," McDonough said. "It was really so obvious, to be honest with you, once we met with him."

Earlier in the open press conference, McDonough outlined Ainge's Hornacek's qualifications.

"The real reason Jeff is here as our new head coach is all the career path that he just walked you through. Growing up he was the son of coach. Johnny Orr raved about his ability. He called him a leader and a coach on the floor. And that was at 22 years old. Going back in my past when I was with the Celtics in 2004 we had a coaching opening. We had reached out to Jeff when he'd never been an assistant coach, and that was nine years ago."

But McDonough isn't denying the local draw of having Hornacek on the bench.

"His ties to the community and this organization are a bonus but more of it was his playing experience, growing up the son of a coach, being an assistant coach, being current with NBA players, being able to teach the game," McDonough told us in his deep baritone voice. "So even though there were a number of other good candidates still available or tied up on playoff teams, let's not wait and run the risk of losing this guy."

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