February 2006 - Posts
Much like they did a few weeks ago, the Suns outran the Houston Rockets enroute to their 7th straight win. Shawn Marion continued his hot streak - Player of the Week given to Yao Ming, give me a break. Shawn outplayed everyone last week - his 2 games are probably the reason he didn't get the award though (Yao played 3).
Down for a good part of the game, the Suns mounted an early first-half comeback to get the score close. In the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Suns speed and aggresiveness were simply too much for the Rockets. Yao Ming had an impressive game, but Phoenix shutdown everyone else, including Tracy McGrady. This was the Suns plan though, as Shawn Marion indicated in the postgame interview.
The Suns won despite news that their GM/President Bryan Colangelo had resigned and agreed to join the Toronto Raptors with the same title.
Kurt Thomas has been playing with a stress fracture in his foot. Last night the Suns indicated that he'd be out at least 6 weeks with the injury. Amare Stoudemire is getting closer to returning - they need him badly. Watching Boris Diaw guard Yao Ming last night was hilarioius - no disrespect though, Diaw did a great job.
An era ends in Phoenix, as the 2005 Executive of the Year Bryan Colangelo resigns from the Phoenix Suns and agrees to join the Toronto Raptors as their General Manager and President, the same role he occupied with the Suns. For the first time ever, the Suns will be without a “Colangelo” in their front office.
The team was sold within the past year, which no doubt had an impact on Colangelo's decision to seek other employment. What's surprising is that this happened during the season... we're used to player trades and coaches being fired midway through the season, but a GM/President leaving is a completely different story.
In an interview I saw with managing general partner of the Suns, Robert Sarver, he clearly indicated that he had agreed over a year ago to let Colangelo seek other opportunities if he so desired. The latest developments, he indicated, were just him following through on his word to allow him those opportunities.
This can't be good for the Phoenix Suns organization, despite their good record this year and their optimistic future. It would seem to be a bad omen for a team doing so well and with such a bright future.
From Colangelo's perspective, I'm sure he wants the opportunity to step out of his dad's shadow and make his own mark in the NBA - this is no small feat.
More info on Colangelo's resignation
The latest rumor regarding Steve Francis has him going to the New York Knicks today for Penny Hardaway and Trevor Ariza. The deal allows Orlando to drop approximately $16 million in payroll for next season, with both contracts expiring at the end of the season. It's doubtful that Penny will see any playing time in Orlando, which really sucks (he's a favorite of mine), but Ariza should get some playing time w/ Grant Hill's nagging injuries.
I don't know what the Knicks are thinking here, and more specifically Isiah Thomas... Does he even consult with Larry Brown on trades or does he just do the dumbest thing he can come up with? Pairing Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis in the same backcourt is like pairing Kobe and McGrady together... they both hog the ball and shoot too much. The only difference is that Kobe and T-Mac can score and lead their teams positively while Marbury* and Francis are headaches to their teams. Marbury has improved a lot the past couple years, but his teams still don't win, so there may be something there...
I see the Knicks falling even more so than they already have this year. There is virtually no way this trade “helps” them - on the court or financially for the future. There are still a lot of top-notch players on the trading block so maybe Zeke has something else up his sleeve... Let's hope so.