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Old 04-02-2009, 03:56 AM   #1
AJ2k8's Avatar
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Default Article: The Arizona Republic - Suns need solid off-season decisions

Found this thought you guys might wanna read

There are eight head shots on the cover of the Suns' media guide. Only half currently are on the active roster.

The outlook is so bleak that Shaquille O'Neal called Robin Lopez, "the future." Things are so grim that the head athletic trainer, Aaron Nelson, might be the MVP of the team.

Try not to laugh.

"As much as I hate to give him credit, he's been doing a great job for years," Grant Hill said of Nelson.

Now that the season has been reduced to an eight-game Hail Mary, the Suns need to make some smart choices moving forward. They need to emphasize character when rebuilding their broken team. They need to find a nucleus of players who share a brotherhood, a bond and unrelenting focus on team success.

They should stick with Steve Nash, Hill and Leandro Barbosa. They should part ways with O'Neal, even though he provides great entertainment value. They need to cut the cord with Amaré Stoudemire, who is not a great player, rather someone who makes great individual plays.

They need to remember their best season came without Stoudemire on the court, when the undersized, underdog Suns proved that five people moving in the same direction can be a powerful force. That must be the mind-set and the model moving forward.

And then there's the matter of the trainer, who has one year remaining on a deal given to him by former General Manager Bryan Colangelo.

Under the care of Nelson, O'Neal has enjoyed his best season in years, and here's proof:

When O'Neal feels good, he chirps a lot. This season he has ripped into Toronto star Chris Bosh and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and said that all the other NBA centers look like barbecued chicken. The other day, he destroyed the rookie Lopez for his general passivity.

Along with the MVP trophy from the All-Star Game, the stinging assessment of Lopez might have been the best thing O'Neal has done all season.

"First of all, Robin can't beat him up, so he can't say anything back, anyway," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry, who said he had no problem with Shaq's verbal assault. "So that's the end of it right there."

Lopez called the dressing down "an exchange of ideas."

Under Nelson, Hill has stayed healthy for 74 consecutive games. He came here to gallop in Mike D'Antoni's freewheeling system and instead became the team's defensive player, usually assigned to the other team's best player. One day his daughter came home and said with awe: "Daddy, you're guarding LeBron James tonight!"

It's not what he had in mind when he signed with Phoenix, and yet Hill has had a sensational season. He must be among the more athletic 36-year-old players in NBA history.

"People may talk about our performances," Hill said. "But they're not talking about our health. It's kind of like a kid with perfect attendance. He may not be the best student, but he's there every day."

The Suns have had a rough season. The loss at Utah on Saturday seemed to be the last gasp. On his way to practice Tuesday morning, General Manager Steve Kerr walked down the hallway, hands in his pockets, staring at the floor. It's been that kind of season.

It's imperative that the Suns have a better off-season than regular season. It starts with the right mix of players. It starts with character. It starts with people who really care about winning in Phoenix.

By the way, what do you guys think the suns should do this off-season?
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Article: The Arizona Republic - Suns need solid off-season decisions

Originally Posted by AJ2k8
Found this thought you guys might wanna read

By the way, what do you guys think the suns should do this off-season?
+ ..........
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