For the last eleven years, the NBA has held its biggest party of the year the day after the regular season ends and the Phoenix Suns have been at home quietly sitting in their room by themselves.
This year, the Suns were not only invited to the NBA playoffs party but they are hosting.
Let’s not just let that moment disappear because the Lakers might be coming to town.
We’ve know the Suns are a playoff team for the last few months. We’ve expected the Suns to win for the last two to three months. That shouldn’t diminish what this moment means for the organization.
Phoenix has completely remade their team leadership and culture within the last 18 months. James Jones, Monty Williams and Chris Paul have fixed in 18 months what Robert Saver almost broke in the nearly 18 years he has owned the team.
Consider how the Suns navigated the final week of the season. Instead of manipulating their roster to try and lose to a more beneficial playoff seeding, the Suns embraced a culture of winning.
Yes, the Suns could’ve avoided the Lakers (or Warriors, I guess) if they wanted to get into a tank-off with the Clippers. But they didn’t. They won and let the chips fall where they may, only resting starters on Sunday after they had clinched the two seed.
Can you imagine criticizing the Suns for NOT intentionally losing after over a decade of doing nothing but losing?
The only way this Suns team can cure their new foundation is by embracing winning as the only form of motivation.
Sure, the Suns aren’t built to beat the Lakers but then again they were never expecting or supposed to be the last line of defense against the Lakers. The Suns could face the final boss the first level is over. That’s not how its' supposed to work. But instead of turning off the game like a tantruming child, the Suns have no choice but to go out and win.
You can still root for the Warriors to pull off the unlikely upset over the Lakers on Wednesday night but for now, try to enjoy the moment you’ve been waiting over a decade for.
The Suns are going to the most important party of the year so instead of spending time complaining that the music is going to be too loud, why not enjoy the invite?