A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.

~ Cicero

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. A four-day weekend comprised of eating and sports? What's not to like? As I grew older and began to better understand what the holiday is about, I only grew to enjoy it more. Giving thanks for what one has, showing gratitude, is one of the biggest keys to living a happy life. If there is a human trait deserving of a holiday, it's gratefulness.

At any given moment, we can find something to complain about: we might hate our job, our family might irritate us, maybe we want more money, etc. As Suns fans here, our current complaint is that the NBA lockout has taken away the sport we love. Before that, our complaint was that the Suns franchise is in decline, with a front office full of numbskulls and rubes, and an owner who is cheap and incompetent.

This has created an interesting dymanic here at BSotS. It reminds me of the old joke: "the food at that restaurant is terrilble, and the portions are so small!"

Last year was disastrous for the Suns: a team that pushed the eventual league champion to 6 games in the conference finals in 2009-2010 dropped by 13 regular season wins and missed the playoffs. The hand-wringing and "woe is me, we're doooooomed!" was more prevalent here than Marcin Gortat's nose is on his face.

But, now that we're staring into the abyss, the possibility of no NBA season at all, wouldn't a season of even a medicore or worse Suns team be great in comparison?

I thank you in advance for jumping it.

I've been a sports fan for as many of my 30-something years as I can remember. When I was a kid, it would sometimes make me cry when my team lost a tough game. As a young adult, I'd brood for a day or two and lash out at anyone who talked trash to me after a loss. Then I began to realize that, of course it's more fun to be a fan when my team is winning and contending. But the real joy is simply in being a fan, win or lose, championship contenders or doormats.

There is always something in these games to appreciate: a spectacular Steve Nash pass, a thunderous Hakim Warrick dunk, an unexpected performance from an unpopular player. And if you choose to be an optimist, there is always hope.

"This young player is gonna be great for us!"

"Nash is a freak of nature and therefore has a few years left as a top performer."

"Veteran role player X will continue to improve due to his high character and hard work."

Then there is the community that sports fosters: fans gathering in person and electronically to cheer or groan, celebrate or commiserate.  Sharing the emotions and analysis of the game is a great deal of the experience, whether that's excitement for a team that has a chance to win it all, or the desire to light an underperforming member of the team on fire, in jest (at least, I think in jest).

All of this is what makes it fun to be a fan. It's why we keep coming back no matter how many tough losses, how many players we see leave when we'd like them to stay.  And it's all better than lawyers arguing while we have no NBA to watch.

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2010, the Suns lost a thrilling but heartbreaking overtime game to the eventual Eastern Conference finalist Bulls. The Suns led by 19 after the first quarter and 12 going into the fourth but Derrick Rose and the Bulls proved to be too much in the end, as this recap by Alex Laugan and Seth Pollack details. The word "frustrating" appeared several times in the comments.

And it was frustrating. The Suns had a very good team down big, and then let them take the game at the end. It was a performance that, unfortunately, displayed a lot of the weaknesses that would haunt the Suns for their entire 40-42 campaign.

This Thanksgiving, we have no Suns basketball. We have no NBA at all, and the best we can possibly hope for is games by Christmas. When the lockout does eventually end, there's a fair chance that the Suns will be no better or possibly worse than last season's team. And I'm guessing it won't be long until somebody makes a comment along the lines of "the Suns suck so bad, I wish the lockout hadn't ended so I didn't have to watch this."

That comment won't be coming from me.

On this Thanksgiving, one thing I'm thankful for is that I'm a sports fan. I live a comfortable enough life that I can afford to care, to cheer, to gripe, and realize that the fortunes of my team aren't any kind of real hardship. Win or lose, it's all a celebration. And this lockout isn't lasting forever.

Your turn now, BSotS-ers. My questions for you:

  • What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
  • What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving Day?

And, don't forget to answer the critical question in the poll. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Poll
What is your favorite kind of pie for Thanksgiving dessert?

  60 votes | Results


When the NBA lockout finally comes to an end (be it tomorrow, Christmas Day, or June 30, 2012) every team with playoff hopes will have to ask itself, “What is our team identity?” For the Suns,...

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Why are lawyers so dang smart?(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)


Evidently the dockets in Minnesota are less cramped than those in New York and California. On Monday, the players consolidated all of their lawsuits in the big MN.

The sides have not communicated since the talks fell apart and the players union disbanded Nov. 14.

Yet that hasn't stopped the suits from sniping at one another from afar, which of course does little but increase the rancor of the two sides (kind of the opposite of illustrating the hope for an agreement, no?)  The whole article from USA Today can be found here.  But here's a short summary along with some witty commentary:

 



Rick Buchanan, NBA Executive Vice President and General Counsel (Savagely):

 

"We assume that Mr. Boies was not happy with either the reassignment of the case from Oakland to San Francisco or the fact that the new judge scheduled the first conference for March 2012...This is consistent with Mr. Boies' inappropriate shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims."

Ouch, Rick but you only sound like an angry man forced to do more paperwork.


David Boies
(Hurt)

"Talking it through … we thought things would move faster in Minnesota. The docket is less congested there."

Do you all hear me? I want to resolve this-for the fans. Quickly!

And further:

"They've made pretty clear they (the league) have no interest in talking to us. … I thought this was a case we ought to try and resolve"

Can't we all just get along?

David Boies (Lawyer's humor)

 "One of the good things about lawsuits: I know I'm going to hear from them in about three weeks," (meaning the 21 days the league has to respond to the filing.)

Bahahaahahahahaha...Attaboy, Davie, yer killin' me over here!

And lastly, to prove that he and his clients are the good guys, check this one out:

"Eventually, people come to the realization that litigation is not the best way to resolve most disputes...Most disputes ought to be settled. Trying a lawsuit is fun to lawyers. It's our form of competition. But it's not good for the system. It's generally not good for client, if there's an alternative...This was the last resort for players."

Last resort for the players? Did they not have a chance to accept an offer before all of this?

And if you think there was a PR battle before, the one in which the object was to win the hearts and minds of us fans, just you wait, my friends. Mr. Boies is playing victim here, and if we aren't careful we could fall for it. It takes two to rumble, and Boies wins even if he loses. Anyone know his hourly rate?


Former Phoenix Suns forward and current emcee Cedric Ceballos suffered “a series of small heart attacks” on Sunday that has left him hospitalized in Phoenix, according to a release from...

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That’s the question we will all have to ponder if the NBA lockout wipes out the 2011-12 season and along with it the final year of Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns contract. Ever since Amare...

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