Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shame on Robert Sarver: Suns wrong to replace Amar’e Stoudemire with Hakim Warrick

The Suns have agreed to terms on a four-year, $18 million deal with free agent forward Hakim Warrick, sources tell Marc Spears of Yahoo!

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s never been a mutually beneficial relationship.
 
For years, the citizens of Phoenix have backed their basketball team with unbridled passion. The Suns enjoy terrific fan support -regardless of the economy.
 
When things are good, fans fill the arena. When things are bad, fans fill the arena.
 
NBA basketball is recession proof in Phoenix because people have bought-in; long ago they made an emotional investment in the team that clearly trumps their financial investment.
 
Can Suns owner Robert Sarver say the same?
 
Sarver – who purchased the team in 2004 from a group of partners led by Arizona sports legend Jerry Colangelo – too often puts the business of basketball first. 
 
Sure, he looks like a fan, waving his giant foam hand from his court side seats or making a spectacle of himself by leaping off a trampoline to dunk a basketball at halftime. 
 
Looks can deceive.
 
Sarver would rather cut cost than win. For instance, superstar Joe Johnson was practically driven to the airport when he left the Suns for the Hawks as a free agent.
 
Then he forced management to trade promising youngsters like Rudy Fernandez and Rajon Rondo because he didn’t want to pay their rookie salaries.
 
Of course, this was before the economic meltdown -the one that crippled Sarver’s banking and real estate holdings.
 
This summer Sarver’s penny-pinching has risen to another level.
 
First, Steve Kerr, who was finally coming into his own as GM, fled for the broadcast booth because the frugal owner stubbornly demanded he take a pay cut.
 
Second, Amar’e Stoudemire – the butter to Steve Nash’s bread and primary scorer in Seven Seconds Or Less – has been nickel-and-dimed in contract negotiations. 
 
Sure, Stoudemire has flaws. He treasts defense like a contagious disease and has a Charles Barkley sized opinion of himself. However, the flashy post is perfect for Phoenix, and vice-versa.
 
Yet, here he is, on the verge of signing with Mike D’Antoni – another Sarver cast off – and the New York Knicks.
 
Third, Sarver genuinely believes he can replace Stoudemire with journeyman Hakim Warrick. This is delusional -like Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
 
Warrick is a decent player. He may even post career best numbers with Nash. Channing Frye looks to be returning. And Robin Lopez will continue developing. None can compensate for Stoudemire, though.
 
The Suns must do better to replace their four-man. The team that qualified for the Western Conference Finals deserves better. And fans deserve better, too.
 
Don’t bet on it, though. Winning isn’t the priority.
 
When opening night rolls around this fall, America West Arena will be sold out – as per usual. And Sarver will be sitting in his front row seats – as per usual.
 
Nothing will have changed. And the owner won’t be deserving of such loyalty and support from the thousands filling his stadium.
 
– Oly Sandor.
 
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