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Saturday , Feb , 25 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash: I’m ‘completely open’ to staying or leaving Phoenix

"It's up to the team," Nash said. "I'm happy where I am. I'm not happy with our record. I feel like I made a commitment to the fans and my teammates. But at the same time, I'd understand if the team wanted to make a move, so I'm completely open. To be honest, I just occupy myself with trying to prepare to play and play as well as I can."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Phoenix Suns want to trade Steve Nash. And Steve Nash wants to the Phoenix Suns to trade him.

Sadly, team and player can’t admit as much publicly because they fear a backlash from fans.

Right now, the Suns are struggling. Soon, they’ll begin a long, painful rebuilding process, in part, because owner Robert Sarver lacks the resources to pay top talent.

Under Sarver’s watch the Suns have said goodbye to All-Stars Joe Johnson and Robert Sarver, and traded away first round picks Rudy Fernandez and Rajon Rondo.

The reason: Sarver must watch his pocketbook because the financial meltdown crippled his banking and real estate empire.

Nash is loyal to the city of Phoenix and Suns-nation. He knows asking for a trade would ruin his relationship with the city and fans. So the two-time MVP is saying all the right things.

However, the best thing for all involved is a trade. The Suns would get an asset to begin their inevitable rebuilding process, while Nash, a free agent at season’s end, would perhaps get an opportunity at a championship.

Somebody must blink. Team or player must make the first move to dissolve this partnership.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Feb , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Steve Nash and Suns open to trade?

Despite the Suns' struggles, Steve Nash has yet to express an interest in being traded, league sources said. But the organization will try to accommodate Nash's wishes if the 37-year-old foundation of the franchise decides he'd like a chance to compete for a championship with a contender. "It's really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do," a person with knowledge of the situation said. Nash, who turns 38 next week, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps this is the first step in Steve Nash leaving the sad-sack Phoenix Suns before becoming a free agent at season’s end.

After all, the two-time MVP, perennial All-Star, and sure-fire Hall of Famer is deserving of so much better than playing for Robert Sarver’s thrifty team.

Sarver’s alligator arms have forced the Suns to give away draft picks, pass on free agents, and roll out the exit map for stars Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Bottom line: what was once one of the NBA’s premier teams is now irrelevant. And Nash has wasted some productive years toiling on that irrelevant team.

Of course, he knows this.

However, Nash is reluctant to request a trade, rightfully believing such a move would  wreck his legacy with the city of Phoenix and Suns-nation.

It would be different if the club traded Nash prior to the deadline, and attributed such a trade to needing an asset for their rebuilding project.

Hopefully, Nash is freed from Phoenix. His situation has become sad. And he needs to play meaningful basketball before it’s too late.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 

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Friday , Dec , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry ‘Very Excited’ about Suns signing Michael Redd

Very excited about Michael Redd joining the team. Great offensive weapon. He will be a welcome addition.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is what Coach Alvin Gentry has been reduced to.

The personable sideline boss must put a positive spin on his Phoenix Suns signing shooter Michael Redd, who has struggled with injuries the last few years.

Redd, a veteran who is attempting to resurrect his career, is the best the Suns can afford -even in the post-lockout world of greater parity and revenue sharing.

The problem is simple: Robert Sarver. The Suns’ controversial owner doesn’t have the resources to sustain an NBA team, let alone one that will stay in contention for a playoff spot.

So Suns’ management must cut corners and react. Draft picks are sold. Star talent is allowed to walk. And cheap replacements are brought in.

Hopefully, Redd resurrects his stalled career with a solid year. Even this won’t change the Suns’ sinking fortunes in a competitive Western Conference.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e Stoudemire blames Robert Sarver for lockout

Amar'e Stoudemire believes he knows where to place the blame for the NBA's aggressive stance against the players' union: the owner of his former team, the Phoenix Suns. "[Robert] Sarver, for sure," Stoudemire said. "He's probably the main guy that's pushing for this lockout."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I didn’t think Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns, could look much worse.

After all, he single-handedly decimated the Suns, refusing to re-sign Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire and selling first round draft picks like action figures on E-Bay.

Well, I was wrong.

Fair or not, Sarver is seen as the hardline owner who held up the two sides agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement a few weeks back.

And his comments about wanting to take the mid level exception home in a handbag to his wife and sitting out the entire year were asinine and stupid.

The players are taking note. Starting with the Suns' former star in Stoudemire, who saw first hand how Sarver's nickel and dimming destroyed his chances of winning  a championship in Arizona.

It’s not that Sarver doesn’t have a right to speak his mind. It’s that he lacks the credibility for anyone to listen.

The lockout has made that point even clearer.

-O.Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash: ‘I prefer to stay in Phoenix’

As a veteran, Nash said an NBA championship ring was still a strong lure for him, but he said he would not change teams to achieve that goal.

"Every player wants the ring. We were very close to it many times. Changing teams may be a way. But I don't think I will join another team; I prefer to stay in Phoenix. Hopefully, we can go further next season," said Nash.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Steve, hope is not a strategy for you or your Phoenix Suns.

While visiting China on behalf of his sponsors, Nash told the assembled media his preference was to close his eyes, cross his fingers, and ’hope’ his Phoenix Suns achieve better results.

Lets be clear: what else can Nash do?

He’s too classy to publicly call out Robert Sarver, the Suns’ thrifty owner who refuses to spend on the necessary talent to contend, let alone win a championship.

He’s too classy to publicly call out GM Lon Babby, who first acquired Hedo Turkoglu and then sent the Turkish swing to Orlando for another underachiever in Vince Carter.

And he’s too classy to publicly call out his teammates, who seem a little too interested in taking shots at each other via the media.

Right now, Nash can only grin and bear the Suns. Of course, he can hope. Sadly, this is what the future Hall of Fame point guard has been reduced to.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Grant Hill to follow in Jason Kidd’s footsteps?

He watched Jason Kidd, a fellow rookie of the year, win his first title last month, and is willing to keep striving for an opportunity to play in the Finals. Hill's career has gone from one of promise, to misfortune, to longevity, and he is willing to wait out a potentially long lockout.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To pull a ‘J-Kidd’, he can't re-sign with the Phoenix Suns.

The end is near for the 38-year old Grant Hill. The former Duke legend and NBA All-Star doesn't believe the end is now, though.

Instead, he’ll wait for the lockout to end and, inspired by Dallas Mavericks legend Jason Kidd, try for a championship.

Here’s the thing: Hill won’t win with the Phoenix Suns. Heck, Hill might not see the playoffs if he stays in Arizona.

This falls on Suns owner Robert Sarver. He doesn’t have the resources to sign and/or keep talent. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement won't do enough for Sarver, even if there's a hard cap with flexibility.

So Hill will have to leave as a free agent. He will have to part with pal Steve Nash. He will have to risk injury by forging a relationship with new trainers.

This seems scary, but Hill has survived numerous ankle surgeries, a life saving procedure in Orlando, failures at the pro‘ level, and unfortunate comments in a documentary by former rival Jalen Rose.

Free agency won’t phase him. Hill will weigh his options and do what's best. In a year, like Kidd, he could also be hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy. 

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash for Billups?

"There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Suns point guard Steve Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason. The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D'Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The whispers won’t die. Steve Nash continues to be connected to the New York Knicks.

Here’s the latest Nash-to-New York tidbit: the Knicks want to send veteran Chauncey Billups to the Phoenix Suns for the charismatic Canadian.

This rumor works for two reasons. First, Billups and Nash both have expiring deals. They make similar money. So the contracts match.

Second, it’s 2012 or bust for Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. ‘Mr. Seven Seconds or Less’ must exceed expectations to earn another contract from owner James Dolan.

Enter Nash.

The two-time MVP is the best point guard to run D’Antoni’s system. Nash’s passing and creativity would help former Phoenix teammate Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony post career numbers.

The Knicks would entertain. Madison Square Gardens would be fun. And they’d probably win, which means D’Antoni gets his extension.

There's a complication: Phoenix owner Robert Sarver won’t trade Nash. This may be posturing, though.

Sarver would part ways with any asset if given enough of a financial incentive. The outspoken owner was particularly hard hit by the financial downturn.

Perhaps Nash finally joins the Knicks. Perhaps it’s as simple as meeting Sarver’s price.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Saturday , Feb , 26 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash on the Suns trading him: ‘I’m open to that’

And though it seemed logical that a team ripe for a rebuild might trade the most valuable player on the roster, the Suns didn’t budge through this week’s trade deadline, and Nash didn’t ask. But yesterday, Nash opened the door, just a crack, to leaving. “I’m open to whatever they want to do,” he said. “I mean, if they want to move me, I’m open to that. If they want to keep me, I’m open to that too.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the elephant in the room neither side wants to discuss.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have to consider parting ways. After all, Nash, who is still playing remarkably well, could help a contender, while the Suns, who lack the resources to field a winner, need to rebuild.

Trading Nash would give the tiny table setter his chance at a championship, and also give the Suns some combination of draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue chip prospects for the future.

If only it were so easy. Both player and team are reluctant to push for a trade.

Nash is loyal to Phoenix, its fans, and the Suns organization. Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is already on shaky ground for past moves, knows he’d become persona non grata if he wrapped Nash in a bow and gave him away.

So each side is putting out the feelers; dropping little hints to prepare the public.

Something could happen this summer. And the elephant in the room could become a reality.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Feb , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Bill Duffy: Suns will consider trading Steve Nash this summer

"Steve is a Phoenix Sun and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he's the face of that franchise," Bill Duffy, Nash's longtime agent, told ESPN.com this week. "But logic dictates that it would be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer, so we would expect that they may entertain moving him during the summer. We are ready for that and we anticipate a very respectful process if they decide to look at starting over with a younger core."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The game has begun.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns won’t admit it, but both player and team are looking to part ways. They’d be negligent not to.

After all, Nash –despite being one of the game’s fittest players- is getting older and wants a chance at a championship, while the Suns need to rebuild with younger assets.

Nash moving on makes sense for all parties. How Nash moves on is far more complicated.

For instance, Nash won’t request a trade. He’s too loyal and fearful of a backlash. In fact, last week he told ESPN’s Marc Stein he’s too ‘old school’ to ask the Suns to deal him.

Meanwhile, the Suns will never admit to shopping Nash. The tiny table-setter is a two-time MVP and beloved figure around Phoenix.

Conversely, Suns’ owner Robert Sarver has taken his fair share of hits and can’t afford to look like the bad guy with Nash. He and Coach Alvin Gentry will deny, deny, deny when reporters ask about the rumors of a Nash swap.

It’s also no coincidence that Stein reported these comments from Nash’s agent. Clearly, Nash and Stein have a relationship.

I am not suggesting Nash or Stein, one of the best in the business, have engaged in questionable or unethical behaviour. I am only suggesting that Nash trusts Stein to break news in a fair, equitable manner. This is the mark of a good reporter.

For instance, two years ago, Nash held his charity basketball game in my home of Vancouver, Canada. I covered the event, as did Stein –even though, it was during the dog days of summer and there were no real scoops or major news to be had.

Perhaps Nash asked Stein to attend what was essentially a glorified pick-up game for a good cause. Perhaps Stein agreed to go because he knew he would further his relationship with the Nash machine.

I don’t know much else about their relationship. What I do know is that these comments from Nash’s agent are a cautious attempt to test the trade waters. They felt comfortable that Stein would report their feelings in a responsible manner.

So the game has begun. The next move belongs to the Suns.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash on staying in Phoenix: ‘I’m old school’

Nash insisted again this week, as he lunched on five-bean soup and the healthiest of chopped salads at one of his go-to temples for food purity, that he won't be lobbying Suns owner Robert Sarver and new team president Lon Babby to send him to a contender. 

"Maybe I'm old school," Nash said, "but I signed a contract to play here and I want to honor it. I feel like I owe it to my teammates and the city and everybody to keep battling until they tell me it's time to go."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s forever the good soldier.

After all, how easy would it be for Steve Nash to walk into Robert Sarver’s office and demand a trade?

Nash is a beloved two-time MVP and a future member of the Hall of Fame. Sarver is the despised owner of the Phoenix Suns, who puts profits before championships.

Nash is right: he’s old school. He’s also loyal to teammates, Phoenix, and, most importantly, his values, which means he plays out the last year and a half of the contract he signed.

It doesn’t matter that Sarver failed to keep superstar Amar’e Stoudemire and executive Steve Kerr. And it doesn’t matter that Sarver lacks the resources to build a winner.

For Nash, a deal is a deal. So he’s a Sun until July of 2012.

Sixteen months from now, Nash’s contract will expire. With his fitness regime and basketball IQ, the tiny table-setter will be in demand.  Look for Nash and his people to quickly sign with a contender

Nash, forever the good soldier and team-first point-guard, can finally think about himself.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Suns now trading Childress and Nash?

Josh Childress does not regret one bit signing this summer with the Suns, who are overloaded with wing players, even though he has been removed from the rotation.

As for his decision to play through a right index finger fracture with a splint, that is different.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Josh Childress next? What about Steve Nash?

No player is safe in the cut-cost world of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver. Sarver, who was never the most generous of owners, has had his real estate and banking empire decimated by the economic recession.

Every player is expendable -especially those with long-term and expensive contracts.

Expect the Suns to shop Childress. Since returning from Europe, the Stanford alum hasn’t distinguished himself as a regular contributor off Alvin Gentry’s bench. Then he got injured and will miss several weeks.

Team and player are disappointed. Fair enough. However, the season is barely two months old and cutting ties would seem premature.

After all, Childress is versatile, smart, and talented. Given time, he’d figure things out and become a valuable reserve and spot starter –even for a team loaded on the wing like the Suns.

Money matters for Sarver and the Suns. In fact, the bottom line is everything. So they’re looking to get Childress’ multi-year deal for mid level money off their books.

The sooner, the better.

Moving Nash would be trickier. He’s revered in Phoenix. His contract is reasonable. Trading the two-time MVP would signal to fans that Sarver has thrown in the towel.

However, Father Time will eventually catch Kid Canada. It has to. And he may not want to waste his time with a team that has zero interest in winning.

So the Suns and Nash may part. And like everything with Sarver, money will be the root of the problem.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 


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Thursday , Nov , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry: Steve Nash is ‘not going to be traded’

Steve Nash takes in the trade talk and returns a measured response, but Suns coach Alvin Gentry isn't ... He stepped in to end Nash's interview and then he made out trade speculators to be ridiculous. "Steve's not going to be traded, that I can tell you," Gentry said. "If he's getting traded, I'm going along with him, OK? Have you looked at the way he's playing? He's playing at a real high level. Why would we trade him? I don't understand that. That's nothing that's been discussed here. It's not going to happen."
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Enough was enough –at least for Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry.

This morning, Gentry emphatically shot down rumors the Suns were trading superstar point guard and franchise face Steve Nash.

According to Gentry, Nash isn’t available. He’s too valuable to the Suns and their ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ system.

Of course, Gentry has a point. Nash has two years and $22 million left on his contract, so the Suns ultimately control his fate.

However, Nash, a two-time MVP, has leverage. Fans sympathize with him because Phoenix owner Robert Sarver is more concerned with turning a profit than winning a championship.

Fans would understand if he asked for a trade. Sarver would likely accommodate. And Gentry’s opinion, frankly, wouldn't matter.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa?

The Suns would send seven-year veteran guard Leandro Barbosa and late-season addition Dwayne Jones to Toronto for Turkoglu, a 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey with versatile skills to shoot from long range and be a playmaker.

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HoopVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be a mutually beneficial trade.

Simply put, the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns must pull the trigger and make the Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa rumor a reality.

After all, Turkoglu was a disaster for Toronto. The prize of last summer’s free agent class arrived at training camp with a belly and attitude. He never got fit – partly because he spent a sufficient amount of time enjoying the city’s nightlife - and promptly requested a trade.

Worst of all, he has four years and $40 million remaining on his contract. Staying with the Raptors isn’t an option. Fans and media would eat him alive.

Enter the Phoenix Suns and Leandro Barbosa.

If healthy, the Brazilian blur would provide Toronto with offense either as a starting shooting guard or off-the-bench. He’s quick, exciting, and likeable. Fans and media would instantly take to him.

The money would make sense, too. The Raptors would escape from under Turkoglu’s big ticket and only be responsible for the remaining two years and $15 million on Barbosa’s deal.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a one-sided affair.

Phoenix has always had interest in Turkoglu –dating back to his run with those glamour teams in Sacramento. His scoring and basketball IQ would fit Seven Seconds Or Less perfectly.

Turkoglu, a laid back individual, would be happier in Arizona. Frankly, the point forward underestimated the intense glare of Toronto’s five daily newspapers, talk radio shows, and fan base.

So Raptors GM Bryant Colangelo and Suns owner Robert Sarver must make this happen.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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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!

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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.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Steve Kerr’s departure hurt Suns’ chances of re-signing Amar’e Stoudemire?

"Steve Kerr says he won't return as general manager of the Phoenix Suns despite building a team that made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals.

Kerr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the decision was solely his and not the result of any disagreements with owner Robert Sarver. He said he is "exploring a couple of possibilities" to return to television work."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Publicly, Steve Kerr is saying the right things. Privately, the former sharpshooter was probably concerned owner Robert Sarver wouldn't dig into his pockets to re-sign posts Amar'e Stoudemire and Channing Frye.

After all, Sarver is about business. Always has been. He was the one who felt Joe Johnson wasn't worth a big ticket. And he was the one who instructed management to trade Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez because he didn't want to pay their rookie salaries.

Of course, that was before The Great Recession hit. And make no mistake about it, Sarver's real estate and bank holdings were certainly hit by the economic downturn.

Now Sarver - a guy who loves the publicity and headlines - is likely in charge of negotiations with superstar free agent Stoudemire. Unlike teammate Steve Nash, STAT won't give the Suns a significant hometown discount. And Frye, even in this buyer's market, deserves a raise.      

Much is at stake in Phoenix. And the wrong guy, Sarver, will be making the key decisions.

Got thoughts on this?

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Friday , Jun , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Sun isn’t brighter on the other side: Amar’e Stoudemire must stay in Phoenix

 

"I've established great relationships around town," Stoudemire said. "My family is now pretty much from here because all my kids were born and are being raised here. It'd be great to remain a Phoenix Sun for my whole career.

"That's my ultimate goal. And then to win a championship with the team. But we've just got to make sure that we can try to get that done sooner than later because we want to capitalize on the opportunity. We did a great job this season but we definitely want to have a better season and go further the next few years."

"My loyalty is here with the Phoenix Suns," he said. "Once free agency starts and teams are offering me X amount of dollars, then I would definitely say, 'You know what, Phoenix? These guys are offering this much. So if you guys want to step up to the plate, we can hit a home run.' If not, then I could settle for an inside-the-park home run. Just as long as I make it home."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He gets it. Finally.
 
Amar'e Stoudemire seems to understand he'll find no better fit than with the Suns. In Phoenix, he has Steve Nash tossing him bounce-pass dimes off pick-and-rolls. In Phoenix, he doesn't have to be particularly troubled with defense. And in Phoenix, he is loved like a tier-one superstar.
 
Everything would change - and not necessarily for the better - if Stoudemire left as a free agent this summer. There'd be no Nash. He'd have to stop treating defense like a contagious disease. And there'd likely be less spotlight and more criticism.
 
So the pogo stick power forward is right to consider giving Phoenix and their financially stretched owner, Robert Sarver, a slight hometown discount.
 
After all, the Sun isn't brighter on the other side -even if another team offers Stoudemire more green in the form of a max' contract.
 
Should Amar'e stay or leave Phoenix?