The Apples of My Eye: The Phoenix Suns

- Patrick Nash

I really can't pinpoint when I actually became a Phoenix Suns fan but it had to be in the early 90's. Most of my family lives in Arizona somewhere but I did the bulk of my growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico (By bulk I mean most of my early years prior to junior high). I do remember sitting in our apartment during the 1993 NBA finals and watching with my grandpa as the Suns played the Chicago Bulls. I was already a fan of the Suns before they made it to the finals but It was really when I got drawn to basketball. Back in the day we, my mom, sister and I, were a baseball/softball family. It was what I played during most of the time I lived in Albuquerque. Although I wasn't a huge fan of playing baseball I did enjoy it while I was involved. But basketball...I loved it. Now granted, I am not what you would call "athletically gifted" by any means. You could tell by the amount of trophies I got during my 8 or so years of playing baseball. My sister, on the other hand, played less years than me but garnered as many trophies as I did (probably more). Sports just came easy to her. I think I'm rambling so I'll transition back to the subject. I was amazed by what these guys could do. Michael Jordan was a sight to behold. His athletic ability was ridiculous. Charles Barkley was so dominant when he played. Kevin Johnson made it look easy. Most people were drown to Jordan and Barkley. My sister loved KJ. I was drawn to Dan Majerle. His jersey was the first one I ever got (the old black version...SO DOPE). 

I watched as many games as I could while living in Albuquerque and stepped it up when we moved to Phoenix in 1994. I met Kevin Johnson while in middle school and met AC Green in both middle school and high school. I got to watch the mid to late 90's teams with Elliot Perry (Socks), Danny Manning and Wayman Tisdale. Michael Finley was one of my favorite players when the Suns drafted him in 1995.  I was also witness to the lost potential of Richard Dumas. I both loved and hated when they drafted Steve Nash. I loved it because he shared the same last name as myself but hated it for the same reason. I got tired of being asked if I had changed my last name to Nash because of him. Witnessed great squads with Antonio McDyess and Jason Kidd. The 90's were great for Suns fans.

The 2000's were no slouch either. Shawn Marion showed he was a star. We traded for Joe Johnson who turned out to be a beast (and underrated). We signed Steve Nash again and drafted Amar'e Stoudemire and because the most exciting teams to watch. I was also a witness to the loss of great players. Marion and Johnson left for greener pastures due to bad management and a non willingness to pay for talent. Although we never missed the playoffs in the 2000's we could never get over the humps that were the Lakers and the Spurs. Eventually, father time and injuries caught up with Steve Nash and he shipped him off to one of our biggest rivals the Lakers.

With Nash gone, it has been a rough stretch (7 years no playoff appearances) in the 2010's. A bad GM and a bushel of bad signings have forced us to struggle in the early 2010's. A new GM more recently and a few great draft picks (Devon Booker and Marquese Chriss) along with a few solid pick ups (Eric Bledsoe and admittedly Tyson Chandler) have put us in a better position to eventually get back to our winning ways. There have been a few missteps along the way though. The signing of Isaiah Thomas angered a fan favorite Goran Dragic and he demanded a trade. Trading for Brandon Knight was definitely a mistake and now something we as Suns fans have to endure for longer than we want. I see a bright future for this team though. That future is still in the distance but with another smart pick from Ryan McDonough (also resigning McDonough) and some solid signing/trades we can get that thrill back again.