Hello Loyal BSOTSers (and Wil Cantrell specifically),

I am deeply sorry to have to write this letter.  Many of you are understandably concerned and I appreciate the passion you show in good times and in bad.  This is surely the latter. 

First, let me say thank you for drinking the premium priced beer, eating the premium priced hot dogs and writing with all due respect.  Your patronage has assured that I can afford my choice of villas in Nice and a Yacht ten times the size of Wil CantrelI's house. In return for your kindness the least I can do is address W(indeed is)TF, so here goes...

This season was an unexpected joy to watch for all of us.  I can't tell you how satisfying it was to see our Suns make the improbable run to the WCF that they did.  I am first and foremost a Suns fan and I enjoyed it just as much as anyone.  Because of that success everyone including me was excited about what the offseason might bring, unfortunately for me I have to deal with the offseason as the business that it is rather than the fantasy league I wish it could be and that has put us at loggerheads I'm afraid.

I know my answers on KTAR were not forthcoming about the situation that is currently unfolding, but can you blame me.  What good poker player (and as businessmen that's all we really are) reveals his hand before the flop. This summer is pivotal for our franchise as we all know and the decisions I make will reverberate for the next half decade.

Alvin Gentry did an amazing job this year.  He took a team that was barely expected to make the playoffs to the edge of the NBA Finals and for that I commend him.  That said, this was by far the best he has performed in his several stints as head coach in this league and I think it would be reckless of me to succumb to the moment and pay when the market is at its highest.  If you want an illustration of the effects this can have you need look no further than the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As for the players on this team, I am forced to take the long view.  Within the next year a new CBA will be negotiated and contracts for everyone in the league will be greatly reduced.  This fact means that everyone who signs large contracts in this final year of the current CBA is sure to be left holding the bag (which, unless you can sign LBJ, will become a big flaming bag of poo to be sure) for the next five to six years.  I love what this team has been able to accomplish as it is currently constructed, but do any of us really believe we are overtaking the Lakers (Oh, how I hate them) in the next two years.  As long as they have Kobe, Pau and the gang the rest of the Western Conference is reduced to fighting for table scraps or hoping for an injury.  

Amare has proven that he is a great player, but not a championship player.  Trust me no one is more upset about that than me.  I could resign him to the MAX deal he is seeking and we could continue to be a team that is good but not quite good enough or I (and all of us) can realize that a team with Amare as its highest paid player is never going to possess the fire that it takes to win it all.

As for Steve and Grant, they have done everything asked of them and more and they deserve to be allowed the opportunity to go where ever they choose (as long as we can acquire adequate compensation).  I hope to place them in a situation to compete for a championship while securing pieces that allow us to continue to build around Dudz, LoFro and the Dragon.

The next year and possibly two are going to be difficult, but stick with us.  We do have a plan.  So for now, go out and stock up on Krispy Kremes just don't OD and don't lose hope.  We will see this through, we will emerge stronger for it and we will one day deliver the championship that you all so richly deserve.

P.S.

I had to write this letter in Sarver's voice to ease my own mind.  I am deeply disturbed by the events of the past week and can only hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


The Phoenix Suns knew they would have to do some serious work in free agency this offseason to fill a potential void, but nobody expected it to be the general manager free agent market that they...

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… when the Suns were still in battle mode, fighting their hardest for a chance to play for an NBA crown. Alas, they were eliminated by the now-world champion Los Angeles Lakers, and nothing has...

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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.

Poll
Reading the comments it seems that many of you are much more sanguine (look it up) about Kerr and Griffin break-up with Sarver and the Suns. Let's poll this mother and see what the silent majority feels. On a scale of 1 to 5 my panic level is...

  505 votes | Results


Dear Robert:

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.

Sincerely,

Wil Cantrell
Common Man 

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).


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