Happy Holidays, everyone! As always, I give mad apologies to Clement Clark Moore for butchering his holiday classic. And mad apologies to the rest of you for having to read it.

Cheers,
Mike

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the league

Coaches were vexed about depth and fatigue.

The lockout had ended with a CBA at last,

But the season was starting way too dang fast!

The owners were nestled all snug in their mansions

While David Stern dreamed of small market expansion.

The players with their contracts were ready to play,

But fans were still deciding whether to pay.

When out of New Orleans, there arose such a fuss,

Dell Demps struck a deal with ol' Doctor Buss.

Chris Paul was a Laker; the Hornets cleaned up

CP3, Kobe and D12 might soon be teamed up!

This trade on the heels of a new CBA

Caused owners and the league widespread dismay!

Dan Gilbert broke out his trusty comic sans...

"We can't give in to star players' demands!"

That little old commish, so shady and quick

On Mister Paul played the dirtiest trick:

"You can go to LA, that biggest of places,

but instead of with Kobe, you'll play for a racist!"

"Now, coaches! Now owners! Now agents and players!

When you go against me, you best say your prayers!

From sunny Miami to cold Minny/St. Paul...

Now bow to me! Bow to me! Bow to me, all!"

As with Patrick Ewing and Tim Donaghy's crimes,

Everyone bit their tongues, just like old times.

With the season compressed, there was no time to waste

Dwelling on scandals that left a bad taste.

Meanwhile in Phoenix, no big names were signed

The fanbase unfortunately was grimly resigned.

Steve Nash would be back, and Grant Hill would be too,

But would their bodies hold up? Or dissolve into goo?

The rest of the roster didn't look terribly hot,

Once you got past Dudley, Frye and Gortat.

Three one-year contracts into players they sunk:

Two backup PGs and #letshannondunk.

But Bright Side of the Sun is the name of this blog

And hope burns eternal like a flaming yule log.

With cap space aplenty, those front office elves

Are sitting quite pretty for two thousand twelve.

So Steve Nash will dish and Grant Hill will defend

And Robin Lopez's back seems to be on the mend.

Maybe Jared Dudley will make such a splash as a starter

That we'll all forget that we once had Vince Carter.

Markieff Morris might just have the tools

To keep Babby and Blanks from looking like fools.

Gortat still impresses and Chilly does not,

But amnesty's there if he never gets hot.

The rest of this roster is tough to describe

Especially if Frye's 3-ball never arrives.

Bur when you're depressed and heaving with sighs

Just gaze into Siler's lovely dark eyes.

Suns fans take heart! At least this year's short!

And the Suns will fight hard when they're on the court!

I wish the best to you all in this merriest of seasons,

And if the Suns suck, just blame "basketball reasons."


Happy Holidays Brightsiders, today is Christmas and its a Sunday, after you have opened your presents and eaten and drunk eveything from the table maybe you are sitting down and watching the start of the NBA season.

Maybe you can share with us anything funny that has happend today with your family and maybe comment what Santa bought you this year.

I am watching the New York Boston game, its wierd hearing Steve Kerr's voice and watching and actual NBA game oh well comment away.


As noted on our season preview show of ValleyoftheSuns Live, many ifs surround the 2011-12 version of the Phoenix Suns. In this season preview edition of 5-on-5, we tell you how we think some of...

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"I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."

When I was younger, those six words pretty much kept me in line. Like any boy or girl growing up, my parents got mad at me. The time I took a permanent marker and drew a sizeable car across the living room wall at the age of 8 enraged them. Bouncing my mini basketball in the kitchen despite repeatedly being told not to, lead to the pans being knocked off the stove as well as a broken window. I saw my mum and dad angry that day too.

But being caught smoking at the bottom of the garden at the age of 13 didn't result in red mist for my folks. Instead they were disappointed because I'd broken their trust.


The main difference between anger and disappointment is this: Anger is like a firework – light the fuse, the reaction happens and within seconds it's over and everything is forgotten. With disappointment, it's personal. It's not a fleeting feeling. It stays with you for a long time and even though you will have moved on from the event, you'll still remember why you initially felt it and your heart will drop again.

And that's how I'm feeling about Commissioner David Stern and his decision to barely alter the price of League Pass despite the number of games being significantly reduced – disappointed.


Not to drag up painful memories of the recent past but when the season was teetering on the brink of collapse, I was angry at all parties involved. I was confused at how both sides were willing to forgo an entire 2011 campaign because they couldn't reach an amicable agreement despite everyone foreseeing what was about to take place many months before and I was full of anger that they didn't seem to care enough to change it.


News then came that a season would take place and even if it was only 66 games as opposed to the scheduled 82, I was delighted. On top of that, the perfectly coiffured Bucher of ESPN.com announced that officiating changes were being made which would make the games more viewer friendly. It really did seem like NBA fans were coming first for a change and as well as the love of the game growing in each hoop head, trust in the decision makers was also on the increase.


But just as we were willing to forgive the NBA for the extended off-season (mainly because we were just so happy to have our sport back) Stern and Co delivered a predictable gut punch as the League Pass prices were released. At that moment, every bridge the Commissioner had built and extended to fans to win them back, was set alight.


Don't give us a shortened season where teams will rely heavily on their rotations and games will be a battle of second string players and then tell us we are going to have to pay $169, almost as much as the previous season. None of what's happened is our fault so why are we being punished? We've not caused any of the CBA issues and we've not brought this on ourselves. It looks like we are simply the collateral damage in a pathetic power struggle.


And just as after almost 17 years my parents refuse to forget the moment they caught me smoking my first cigarette, we as NBA fans won't be ignoring this one because it's personal.


It's not anger we feel, it's just disappointment.


During the Seven Seconds or Less era the Phoenix Suns were compared by many to a Formula 1 Ferrari. Very fast, but only if handled by a professional at the peak of his powers (Steve Nash). Given this...

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