Tuesday , Mar , 04 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

High Hopes Still Floating around for the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat

High Hopes Still Floating around for the Phoenix Suns and Miami HeatAfter an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Hornets, 10-day-contract-player-picked-up-to-fill-a-roster-spot Linton Johnson told the Arizona Republic, “I don’t want to show all my tricks. I spent a year and a half with the kid (Paul). I’ve got some things he don’t know. I’ve got Chris Paul’s number.”

What? I’d say the pressure’s getting to him, but … what pressure?

Then, I ran across this article in which the writer says that after each loss, the Miami Heat need to talk Shawn Marion off the ledge. This perspective is in tune with Marion’s comments earlier in the week regarding the sad state of the team formerly known as champions.

Also recall that I said it here first – if Marion picks up his extension, he’s being traded out of Miami. They need cap space and are not going to rebuild around Marion. He’s going to want to pick it up because he won’t be making $17 million on the open market.

Both teams are currently in a tailspin. I suppose, at least, Shaq’s got a chance to make good on his promises in Phoenix – if only because he has the history. Marion, though, is not going to make Miami a winner. Everyone has been saying for a long time that the worst thing that could happen to Marion would be if he got his wish – a trade to somewhere that he could be “the man” or at least “the second man” on the team.

Miami needs to get rid of him and Phoenix needs him back. Did he learn his lesson? If so, would the Suns take him back? Over the summer, I posted my thoughts and said “yes” to the latter. We live in a world where forgiveness is key and second chances are plentiful.

The Prodigal Son is an interesting story and is tells us more about the human spirit when we consider the father and the “good” son. Here, though, I don’t know that Shawn is actually the Prodigal Son. Fault lies on both sides of every argument, and there is a component of all three characters within each person on either side of the argument. Peter Vecsey writes that Marion did not ask for a trade until Steve Kerr told him he was overpaid.

Everybody feels hurt for some legitimate reasons. Now, though, everyone realizes what they lost.

Could it happen? I suppose anything is possible, but probably not.

Should it happen? Hell, yes. But does anyone really think that the Suns’ management could get over themselves? Does anyone really think that Marion could get over himself?

Word from the Arizona insiders is that Mike D’Antoni really wanted the trade for his team, Robert Sarver saw the revenue potential and Steve Kerr had to be talked into it. D’Antoni wanted to get rid of the “bad” locker room presence of Marion and Marcus Banks. However, we had few, if any, reports of Marion being a negative locker room presence (he was always a little bit whiny, but always seemed to get over it) before the arrival of Banks, a fellow UNLV alum (Banks was a D’Antoni mistake made before Kerr became GM). Perhaps Banks, a known miscontent, kept stoking Marion’s fire and was a bad influence.

How could it happen?

It cannot happen. Phoenix does not have the cap space. Marion would have to opt out and take a huge pay-cut. I do not think he’ll do that for two reasons: (1) he really shouldn’t have to, and (2) I do not think he’s willing to forgive the Prodigal Suns.