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May 05, 2008

End of SSOL Era in PHX

This article said it best about the PHX Suns and almost made me cry in doing it:

I made my friend Chris Connelly appear on this week's B.S. Report to discuss "critically acclaimed sports teams," following up on a discussion we had right after Game 2 of the Suns-Spurs series, when things were looking bleak for Phoenix and the end of Mike D'Antoni's reign seemed imminent.

"Well, that's OK that they didn't win the title," Connelly cheerfully said at the time. "At least they were critically acclaimed!"

From there, Connelly unleashed his theory of "critically acclaimed" sports teams (check the podcast for the full details) and how these Suns teams would be cheerfully remembered some day like we remember Coryell's Chargers and the Fab Five. In other words, it didn't really matter that they never won a championship, just like it didn't matter that "Pulp Fiction" didn't win an Oscar, "The Wire" never won an Emmy and "Arrested Development" bombed in the ratings. We would always remember them fondly and feel like they were more successful than they actually were.

And I was sitting there thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?"

You couldn't come up with a better two-word eulogy for the Seven Seconds or Less Era (or S.S.O.L. Era) in Phoenix: Critically acclaimed.

Maybe the Suns didn't win a championship, but we'll remember them 100 times more fondly than the brutally efficient and hopelessly bland Spurs, who taught everyone over the years that the regular season doesn't matter, transformed the NBA playoffs into a flopathon, revived the vile and fan-unfriendly Hack-A-Shaq strategy and did everything short of sending Bruce Bowen out on the court with a chainsaw and a taser. If the Spurs were the Team of the Decade, no wonder ratings dwindled until the league's big comeback this season. The real shame is that all the mugging, acting, eye-rolling, flopping, rule-bending and hysterical shrugging obscured what should have been remembered as a throwback sports team, a shrewdly assembled roster of well-coached guys who played beautifully together, didn't care about credit and revolved around the best power forward who ever played. Instead, we'll remember them as the team that turned the NBA playoffs into the World Cup. Congratulations, fellas.

And I sit here and wait for the new Arrested Development movie to come out and watch my re-runs fondly (including all of seasons 1 and 2 on my recent road trip to bury my grandfather). Four seasons of having season tickets, a game 7 against LA and the Clippers, two Western Conference Finals Appearances, and close to 250 wins...

And 53 episodes of AD.

I hope this is not the end of fun. I like basketball games that are decided 123-118.

Posted by Justin at May 5, 2008 11:31 PM