Mat Ishbia and his ownership group have only been in charge of the Phoenix Suns for a couple of days, and they are off to a flying start, which the previous owner missed.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, which is so often true in professional sports. Whereas the previous ownership group stumbled at the first hurdle, the Phoenix Suns’ new owners are off to a flying start.
Saver never lived down Joe Johnson
A Championship has eluded the club for as good as the Phoenix Suns franchise has been for 55 years. Several teams have come close, so close, we still recognize them for almost getting there 30 years later.
That lack of an NBA Championship has this valley desperate for a winner, so when the time comes, and the team does not act, there is little patience or forgiveness in this town. Former Suns owner Robert Sarver can likely tell you firsthand how he never lived down his first major decision.
We know the Suns were close with Joe Johnson, and despite future big moves, like trading for Shaquille O’Neal, not stepping up when the first opportunity arrived was something I know I never got over with Sarver.
Sure, he was the owner sitting courtside with his foam finger, but when push came to shove, he was just like the Bidwells and Cardinals, unwilling to invest when the time was right.
Like the Cardinals, the Suns spent and spent for years to follow, but having missed out on the real opportunity; it was for naught. That whiff on Johnson was the beginning of the end of what could have been a dynasty. Instead, Sarver is just now an ex-owner that we are glad is gone.
Ishbia is doing what Sarver didn’t for the Suns
Once again, here is Phoenix with new ownership and big decisions. The Suns are not as well built as that first seven-second-or-less team, but with Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton, the Suns have a puncher’s chance in a half-court playoff series.
Now, after trading for Kevin Durant, the Suns have more than a chance; they are one of the favorites to win a ring, assuming everyone can get and stay healthy.
While health is a big assumption at this point, especially for Paul and Durant, what is not a hypothesis is whether or not the move will work. We don’t know, but we will find out, and that is the point.
Had the Suns signed Johnson and still not won, it would not have been meant to be. However, we never even got to find out. Unlike that seven-seconds-or-less team, we know that this year’s Suns were not going to win the league as constructed; however, now, maybe they can.
This time, with a chance to go for, this new owner did. Win or lose, at least we know the Suns tried to win, and when you are talking about owners, that is the most important thing.