By Khalid Salaam
Like any writer I get amped when I’m doing a cover story. But I was especially excited about doing a feature on the Suns. We knew that we couldn’t editorially ignore the Suns anymore. We surely enjoyed them, but because of our production schedule and the Iverson trade and the fact that we hadn’t gotten at Bron in a minute, we kept pushing them back.
We had to stop the madness because in this season of Sixer irrelevancy, the Suns have become my favorite team. i try to stay up for their West Coast time games as much as possible, because their games and how they play is the greatest thing going on in the League right now. I kept bringing it up in the office how we should get at Nash.
Later we decided to make it a team story. I didn’t talk to everyone, just Nash, D’Antoni, Marion and Stat. It would have been hard to talk to every player, not enough time and too little space in the mag. It would have had to be a 3 or 4 thousand word story. Still, the quotes I got are good, especially Marion and Stat, both of whom had very specific ideas of how to improve the team. There have been rumors of them not having the best relationship but they seem to get along and respect the other persons skill set.
Since I wrote the story the Pistons and Spurs have played much better and the Mavs have continued their greatness. For a sec it seemed that the Suns might be able to catch them for the Number 1 seed, but the Mavs rolled off a couple of wins while the Suns wore themselves out after their big win over the Mavs and afterward got blown out a couple of times.
They’re back to the winning ways now though so I expect good things. The playoffs will be great as always. I’m not sleeping on the Spurs or the Mavs, but I feel like the Suns sense their shot at immortality and are gonna push themselves to greatness. The numbers and the impact say this is a historic team, but they need to get to and win the Finals to ensure that. Obviously I’m really excited about this story, so cop an issue or three.