Bad news for the Suns: Nerlens Noel almost definitely will not join them; Phoenix won one more game than Cleveland, the team that won the NBA draft lottery's top pick; the lottery dropped the Suns from the fourth-worst record to the fifth overall pick in the June 27 draft.Good news for the Suns: Noel is no superstar and will not join any team until December because of knee rehabilitation; this dr
Players from the 1992-93 season provide a personal update on what they are doing today:-- Charles Barkley: I want to be a GM. I'm going to get that. I'm not going to campaign for it. I've got three years left on my TV deal. I'll do three more years, and then I'm done. If everything goes perfect, I'll get a GM job before then, but I'm not in a rush. They (Turner broadcasting) have done some things
The easy part of life is understanding it backward. Richard Dumas complicated it by living life backward.Two decades ago, Dumas found the kind of wealth and results on his job that others can only chase for most of their careers. He was a rising NBA star with a shot so soft and springs to loft. The prototypical small forward averaged 16 points as a Suns rookie and resuscitated championship hopes
While many of us have been reminiscing about the 1992-93 Suns NBA Finals season lately, another story has quietly unfolded almost 2,000 miles away in Toronto.Reportedly, Tim Leiweke, the incoming CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which includes among its holdings the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, will replace the team's President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo, possibly with Colangel
What do I remember most about covering the 1993 NBA playoffs and the Suns' championship series in the Finals against the Chicago Bulls?Well, as exciting as all the basketball was, I tend to look back and recall more of the social elements that came along with those assignments 20 years ago.
It's funny how when we recall the big events in our lives, it's often the little stuff that first pops into mind.It's the friend who drank too much at your wedding, the woman who danced funny at your folks' 50th anniversary, the boss who called you out of your wife's labor delivery room to ask who was going to write the Northern Arizona University football advance.
In their wordsSuns players from the 1992-93 team talk about what happened after the NBA Finals season and why they never reached those heights again, together.Danny Ainge: I actually thought we had better opportunities to win a title the next two seasons. One reason was that Michael (Jordan) went to play baseball. I thought we were best team in the league the next two years but injuries at the w
Charles Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns prior to the 1992-93 season. During his time in Phoenix, he was a colorful, quote machine.On his knowledge of history:
Suns fans have a visceral connection to the 1993 NBA Finals. They still hear the swish that accompanied John Paxson's title-winning 3-pointer, still feel the 105-degree heat that baked the city during the celebratory downtown parade.For Jerry Colangelo, the memories are particularly powerful because events on and off the court during that series helped define his legacy.
Charles Barkley was the main identifying image during the 1992-93 run to the Finals. We caught up with him recently for an update on his feelings about a few subjects from that memorable Suns era.-- About it being a 20-year anniversary: "Damn, it's been 20 years. It was a spectacular time. Michael Jordan was at the top of his superpowers. It was a great series and just a really cool thing."
We take a look at the critical moments and moves that reveal how the Suns' 1993 NBA Finals run came to be.More coverage: Video: Reminiscing about 1993 | Photos: A look back the 92-93 Suns | 92-93 Suns recall joining team
The question of who will be picking first in the June 27 NBA draft will be answered on Tuesday in a ceremony that will air at 5:25 p.m. on ESPN. The more pressing question is who needs it the most.NBA combine: Breakdown, analysis of participants | Star power?: Underclassmen in June's draft
The Suns were not very good with basketballs this year so now they get to take their crack at ping-pong balls.The projected prizes in this draft, albeit no sure things, come in the top three spots. That makes having the fourth-best draft lottery odds a bad fit for the drawing (5:25 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN).
On paper, the 1992-93 Suns looked like a championship contender from the get-go.After all, where could that addition of a superstar such as Charles Barkley to the nucleus of a club that had averaged 54 wins a season the previous four years go wrong?
The NBA Draft isn't until June 27, but the draft combine takes place in Chicago Thursday through Sunday. We break down and analyze each player that was invited, beginning with 10 players the Suns could have in their sights with their lottery selection.Top 20 NBA free agents for 2013 offseason | Star power?: NCAA underclassmen in June's draft
USA TODAY Sports tracks the biggest NCAA basketball stars to declare for June's 2013 NBA draft. NBA Draft Combine 2013: Breakdown, analysis of participants; potential Suns lottery-pick targets
There was no way it was going in.John Paxson, a great shooter, exactly who you don't want spotting up for a game-winning 3-point shot, was positioned to bury the Suns.
Suns players from the 1992-93 season talk about the high point of that season.-- Danny Ainge: I don't remember any one. I just remember it being as fun a time as I've ever had playing basketball. I thought Coach Westphal did an amazing job of coaching that team and that group of personalities. He was a great fit in his approach. He let players talk. He let players have input. He always said he co
CHICAGO -- The Suns have a better chance of landing the No. 1 prize in Tuesday's NBA draft lottery than they had of winning Saturday's $600 million Powerball lottery prize.The draft lottery determines the top three picks in the June 27 draft, which seem to have a rare consensus for the trio of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore and Georgetown small forward Otto Porte
The 2013 NBA free agent period features plenty of questions. USA TODAY Sports' Sean Highkin ranks the top 20 players available. | Star power?: Looking at NCAA underclassmen in June's draftNBA Draft Combine 2013: Breakdown, analysis of participants; potential Suns lottery-pick targets
The Suns are a Valley rarity. They have unbreakable roots and a deep well of loyalty. Many consider them part of the family.But it's not by accident. It's not because Arizonans love basketball more than anything else, or because the Suns are our first major professional sports franchise.
Sitting in an Italian restaurant in Manhattan back in 1988, Jerry Colangelo listened intently as Commissioner David Stern outlined for NBA owners how the league's new unrestricted free-agency rules would work and which players would qualify.Colangelo glanced down the table at Barry Ackerley, the owner of the Seattle SuperSonics at the time.
In their wordsSome 1992-93 Suns remember what it was like to join the Suns:Danny Ainge: I was really excited to join that team. That was an amazing opportunity with a new arena, new uniforms, whole new team with Charles added to a base of guys already there -- KJ, Majerle, West. I don't think any of us expected Oliver to be as good as he was. Pretty good nucleus that they had. I just remember be
At the time, it seemed audacious even to Paul Westphal, the first-year head coach who had guided the Phoenix Suns to the best record in the NBA during the 1992-93 regular season.But in the first round of the 1993 NBA playoffs, the Suns lost the first two games of the best-of-five series against the Los Angeles Lakers, at home no less. No team in NBA history ever had escaped from such a fix.
My first extended stay in Phoenix occurred in 1993, when I covered the Western Conference finals for the Chicago Sun-Times. My job was chronicling the Bulls' next opponent and, eventually, the NBA Finals.I remember a lot.
-- Danny Ainge: I don't remember any one. I just remember it being as fun a time as I've ever had playing basketball. I thought Coach Westphal did an amazing job of coaching that team and that group of personalities. He was a great fit in his approach. He let players talk. He let players have input. He always said he coached the way he wanted to be coached and we had a very good group. Charles was
Injuries have so profoundly impacted the NBA playoffs this year that one can put together a pretty good All-Star Game made up only of players who are missing the playoffs because of various ailments, or have at least missed some games or had their minutes dramatically limited because of them.And we're not even counting a lot of players who have sucked it up to play at least close to their normal
CHICAGO -- Some basketball dreamers will tell you that they eat and sleep hoops.It is apparent that Carrick Felix does neither.
CHICAGO -- A year from now, the jubilation of landing the top NBA draft pick will be extremely different if Kansas-bound Andrew Wiggins and Duke-bound Jabari Parker live up to billing as generation players.If the Suns' 11.9 percent draft lottery chance at this year's No. 1 pick comes to fruition, the ESPN camera will get a glimpse of Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby's vertical le
CHICAGO - Suns interim head coach Lindsey Hunter was first on Ryan McDonough's interview list, but it would be shocking if Hunter wound up in that order when the new Suns general manager picks his first head coach.Beyond Hunter's Wednesday interview in Chicago, the Suns' target group includes experienced assistant head coaches, although some head college coaches and a former NBA coach are getting