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Maybe we've done this before, maybe a month or or maybe two years ago, but hell man, we're in the midst of an ugly lockout. Do you have anything better to do?

So here is how how we'll play this game:  You take the best 5 in Suns history-go new, go old school, whatever makes you happy. But let's just say you can revive the retired, traded, or deceased, what Suns players in their prime would give the franchise the best chance at winning a title.

Here are some ideas:

  • Center:  Maybe the easiest to choose from, since the Suns haven't had many or any dominant centers. Is Gortat set to average 20/10 and become an All Star? Do you harken for the small ball with Amar'e in the middle or maybe the multi-talented yet smaller Alvin Adams? (No you can't pick Shaq in his prime), or maybe you have amnesia and thought Hot Rod Williams or Jake Tsakilidis were quality big men.
  • PF: Hard not to pick Amar'e Soutdemire. Or maybe not. What about Charles Barkley? Oooh tough one there. Chuck hit the glass better than Stat, yeah? What about Tommy Chambers? Remember Clifford Robinson? Nah, neither do I.
  • SF:  Here's where it gets fun. Shawn Marion or Grant Hill? Richard Dumas or Cedric Ceballos? Larry Nance anyone? This may be an easy one.
  • SG: Memories of JRich are in the front of our minds. But what about Dan Majerle's defense? Remember Horny Hornacek hitting from beyond the arc? Remember backcourt 2000 featuring Penny at the 2? Then there was Joe Johnson, who without the orbital fracture may have led the Suns to the promised land. You want old school, how 'bout the greyhound, Walter Davis? We loved Raja Bell, and who doesn't have a soft spot for Leandro Barbosa?
  • PG: Easy. Nash, right? But there were other greats: K.J., Jason Kidd, and don't forget D.J. (RIP) or Starbury (yeah maybe we want to forget him)

I've missed plenty of names, but that's what age and AZ Summers will do to you. help me out!

Here's a bonus for y'all. Who's coaching this All-Time Suns great squad-Do you go 7SOL with D'Antoni, do you go fundamentals with Cotton Fitzsimmons, or do you go Westphal or MacLeod? You know Jerry Colangelo coached a little in 1969, and went 24-20.

OK AND NOW THE BONUS:  whose your 6th man? Barbosa right? or maybe you go Eddie House, why not Louis Amundson? Maybe you want an ex-starter as a 6th man. How about K.J. backing up Nash?

Screw the rules here. I hate authority anyway. Have some fun with this, get creative. What style jerseys is this squad wearing? Y'all like the early 90's black roadies right? Or maybe you like the 80's purple or white. Personally I hate the everything 80's except the Talking Heads.

Special Props go for the most obscure references around. Let's see some rec's for mentions of oddities like Kidd wearing the blonde do, or Cotton with a perm, Rich Kelly starting in the middle. Get as detailed as you like. Remember, we're in this together-Suns fans, NBA fans, David Stern haters.


Marcin Gortat feels like he represents Poland every day in the United States as the only current Polish basketball player in the NBA, but he likely won’t be able to represent his country in...

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NBA Lockout Creates Insurance Problems For Gortat; No Russian Club For The Hammer/Machine

We talked to Gortat's agent about the insurance issues that are preventing him from playing with the Polish national team and about his not playing in Russia for a club team as we thought.


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Mickael Pietrus made headlines a little over a month ago when he shared his frustration with the Phoenix Suns over a lack of playing time last season.  This also occurred after he picked up his player option for $5.3 million to play with the Suns next season.  Adding insult to injury, Pietrus went on to say that Kobe Bryan told him he would like to see him play for Suns' division rivals Los Angeles Lakers.

 

Shortly after this news broke, Pietrus underwent arthroscopic surgery in his right knee while staying in France.  Since then very little has been heard about Pietrus until Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic recently wrote an article after having a conversation with Mickael Pietrus's agent, Bill McCandless, who told Coro that the surgery apparently went well, and that Pietrus should be finished rehabbing his knee by the end of this month.  In addition, McCandless also said that, "He's good with being back in Phoenix or fine to be traded...He just wants to play."

While Pietrus may be "good" with coming back to Phoenix next season, one has to wonder if the feeling is mutual.  In one fell swoop Pietrus managed to alienate himself from both the fans and the front office by exercising his player option to stay with Phoenix, and then complain about his playing time with the team after a very lackluster performance last season.  Normally this would indicate that a trade could occur, but trading Pietrus and his overvalued contract would likely see the Suns taking back negative value in return.  This may very well lead a situation of both sides having to deal with each other for the time being, like it or not.


The picture of a Basketball Hall of Famer

Playground ball, lawsuits, continued talk of players going overseas during the lockout. There is some news going on, although most of it's not the funnest, happiest news for NBA fans to hear. It would be pretty cool if Kobe Bryant left the country though, wouldn't it? And, whose judgment do you trust between LeBron James and Andre Iguodala regarding the lockout? How will the lockout effect the 2012 USA Men's Basketball Team? Dennis Rodman even makes an appearance, and he swears he will be on his best behavior.

Rodman will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this Friday night in Springfield, MA, along with nine other inductees, including 1992 Dream Team member Chris Mullin, and Tex Winter, longtime NBA assistant coach and guru of the famed triangle offense. While it might not surprise hardcore basketball fans that Rodman's relentless defense and spectacular rebounding are worthy of induction, Rodman expressed surprise himself.

Via Sporting News

"The way I am, I thought I wouldn’t get in," Rodman told reporters. "Thought they’d say, ‘Dennis, you do too many things off the court that doesn’t represent us, the Hall.’ And I wouldn’t have taken offense. Whatever, OK. I had a great time, had a great career. I didn’t expect them to say, ‘OK, Dennis. We’ll actually consider you in the Hall of Fame.’ OK, cool."

Rodman's obviously an eccentric guy, and was constantly surrounded by controversy in the later years of his career, but his contributions to the game can't be denied. His presenter Friday night will be recently retired former Lakers and Bulls head coach Phil Jackson. Rodman was a player for Jackson on three of Jackson's eleven championship teams.

Jump it for more news from around the basketball world. Update: Earl Clark to play in China.

It's hard to question the passion for the game of NBA players who are taking their talents to city parks and minor leagues across the country. For example, Kevin Durant made quite an impression in New York City.

NBA Players Take Their Game to the Streets 

It seems summer is Durant's designated period for improvement, as just a year ago he was the leader behind Team USA's first gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in 16 years. Instead of squaring off with some of the best the world has to offer, this year he elected to face the best products on the pavement, expanding his game in ways few others would even dare.
 
LeBron James claims to be confident that the NBA lockout won't destroy the season, without giving much reason why he feels that way.
"I'm very passionate about the game of basketball and I've been working toward the upcoming season," he said. "I'm very optimistic about (union leader) Billy Hunter and the owners getting a deal done. I love the game that much, so that's my focus right now. My focus is having a training camp next month at the end of the month and getting ready to go."

The 76ers Andre Iguodala doesn't share LeBron's optimism.

Sixers Iguodala Pessimistic About NBA Lockout

"I didn’t think it would be this bad," Iguodala said, playing in an outing for Stars Within Reach, a foundation that encourages and helps children pursue their dreams. "I thought with the season we had and the TV ratings that we had and this being one of the largest grossing revenue season’s in the history of the game, you would think that we would be able to reach an agreement. But we are so far apart."

Whether you buy the idea of Kobe Bryant playing in Turkey or China during the lockout (I don't), he has made his intentions clear that he wants to play on the 2012 US Men's Olympic team. However, the lockout has thrown the Olympic team's plans into a bit of limbo.

Lockout Not Dimming Future for Team USA at 2012 Games

A year out from the 2012 Olympics, with the lockout in full swing, Jerry Colangelo nonetheless has no doubts that he will find 15 NBA players to put on the red, white and blue. "I haven't even really started reaching out, and I'm feeling calls," he said Friday. "They're calling me. They're calling me to say they're playing."

Truth is, no one -- not even Colangelo, the head of USA Basketball -- knows what the potential impact of the lockout will be on the Summer Games. If the lockout is still ongoing then, there would be any number of logistical and potentially legal nightmares for each.

Former Suns lottery pick Earl Clark has reached agreement to play in China this season. He doesn't have an out clause, so he's committed to playing the full season in China. Am I the only one who thinks he might face some culture shock and communications issues there?

Clark Agrees to Deal to Play in China

Orlando Magic free agent Earl Clark(notes) has reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The deal will pay Clark in the “high six figures,” one source said.


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