Valley of the Dragan
Coming into the 2016 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns were reeling from a 23-59 season, their second-worst season in franchise history, with no hope in sight. (Their first season as a franchise, 1968-1969, the team went 16-66.) Enter Dragan Bender from Croatia. At 7 feet tall and 225 pounds, this guy is a stick figure and will need to work on becoming a better shooter. That said, what this guy can do on the floor as an 18-year-old is so stellar that the city of Phoenix will sell out of any T-shirt that has a dragon on it. With great ball handling and passing abilities for his height, Suns fans are sure to see plays this coming season where he is whipping perfect no-look and bounce passes, all the while running the floor like a gazelle, finishing fast breaks with authority and sending fans into a frenzy.
Leading the way in the locker room is former interim coach, now turned official head coach, Earl Watson. This is such a luke-warm hire to lead a young team that won’t sniff 30 wins. It’s like getting robbed in broad daylight and no one will do anything about it, even though you have multiple witnesses. The Suns' owner, Robert Sarver, is famous for selling first-round picks for cash (one of which turned into Nicolas Batum for Portland in the 2008 draft), he's living up to his billing by paying Watson an NBA-low $2.5 million per season. For the sake of Suns fans, why can’t this owner have a wife half his age "accidentally" record him saying controversial statements that force him to sell the team? The result would be a citywide party that would rival what Mardi Gras can muster up.
Letting Mirza Teletovic hit free agency will sting, especially when the Suns could have had so many possessions in which Eric Bledsoe used his blazing speed to drive to the basket while finding Teletovic ready to rain 3s on teams that collapse the paint. (Cut to Suns fans making a face that a 5-year-old would make when they are getting sent to timeout). This team is so delusional they think Tyson Chandler can actually play basketball and play any meaningful minutes. It’s almost like Chandler is laughing on the bench thinking, “I can’t believe this owner thinks I can even be relevant anymore, it’s not like I am in Dallas when I gave a crap.”
5 things to look forward to as a Suns fan for the 2016-2017 season:
1. Suns fans chanting in the stands “No more Sarver” Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap.
2. Devin Booker continuing to have a flamethrower attached to his arm.
3. The best mascot in the league using the normal gorilla outfit but with the head of a dragon. Why can’t this happen?
4. Betting on the over/under of how many times Earl Watson will get outcoached this season.
5. Hoping and praying that Eric Bledsoe will be back from ACL surgery and go back to outrunning everyone on the floor.
With an expected record for next season of approximately 26-56, Suns fans should just enjoy the new life that Bender will bring to a team that desperately needs it. As a bonus, we're sure to see a lot of exasperated looks on Earl Watson’s face all season long.