The NBA regular season kicked into gear this week and for those looking for storylines, the league has plenty.
There’s the Tim Donaghy referee scandal and the new and improved Boston Celtics.
And oh yeah, that Kobe Bryant trade thing.
But in the Valley of the Sun, for the Phoenix Suns and their fans, the story is the same.
Forget about Shawn Marion trade demands this off-season. Marion has a history of being a whiner and there’s no way that the Suns’ management would trade him.
No, the plotline is the same as it has been for the past two seasons.
Another team loaded with top talent including Marion, Amare Stoudemire, and two-time MVP Steve Nash.
Another shot at hoisting the O’Brien trophy.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, this story has yet to have the happy ending they would like.
Like a roller coaster, the city of Phoenix has experienced exhilarating highs and heart stopping lows.
Three straight regular seasons which saw the Suns run through, over, and in most cases literally around their opponents gave way to three postseasons that ended in tragedy, disappointment, and controversy.
First there was Joe Johnson’s injury that helped the team drop the Western Conference Finals 4-1 to the eventual champ Spurs.
The next postseason saw injury strike again as Raja Bell went down with a calf injury in the conference finals, which saw the Suns lose again, this time to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs.
And then there was last season’s playoff debacle, this time in the second round against the Spurs.
You all know the story by now.
Robert Horry mistook himself for a hockey player, hip-checked Steve Nash, Nash flopped, and Stoudemire and teammate Boris Diaw decided to have a look-see.
That little look see cost both players a one game suspension and the Suns ended up going down in 6 games.
The fans cried foul and blame everybody except the ones they should’ve, the players.
But hey—it’s a new season and with a new season comes renewed hopes.
This season is no different for Phoenix.
But with the renewed hopes come the high expectations that, if are not met, could see some serious changes come the offseason.
The signing of free agent Grant Hill over the summer is seen as many to be the final piece of the championship puzzle.
But will it be?
Is this finally the year the Suns break through?
Or will they continue to be the Indianapolis Colts (before the Colts finally won) of the NBA?
With a team that been so close for the past few years, it’s hard not to wonder.
Until the season is over these questions will remain unanswered.
But one thing is for sure.
As the roller coaster that is the Phoenix Suns’ season gets underway their players and fans will all be holding on tight and thinking the same thing.
Here we go again.