Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns are done after a five-game first-round loss vs. the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playofs last night. Here's the post from Feb. 6, the day the Suns traded for superannuated Shaquille O'Neal, that intuited their early demise.
For a hoops nut, Shaq on the Suns is the equivalent of when Bob Dylan went electric.
Let's just say Phoenicians are not reacting favourably to the scuttlebutt that the running and gunning Suns are going to sacrifice Shawn Marion for a glacial Shaquille O'Neal.
This much is true: Every NBA Finals since the Michael Jordan Bulls broke up 10 years ago has included a dominant big man, either Shaq or Tim Duncan. This is the Suns, though, the team that defeats conventional wisdom, if not the San Antonio Spurs in a playoff series.
Oh, well. You know how there's that book about the Suns, 7 Seconds or Less? These days, that refers to how long it takes Shaq to post someone up.
Great simile from the Palm Beach Post on the phenomenon of acquiring an aging big man: "They say the two happiest days in a man's life are when he buys his boat -- and sells his boat."
There's a more topical post at With Malice. As for Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, he'll be looking for a new job, so let the Raptors speculation begin (although that's a pretty pricey coach for a .500 team). One other hoops note -- Spain is not counting on having Jorge Garbajosa for the Olympics in August, but how cool would it be to wear a red-and-gold José Calderón jersey?)