Brownie Points: Suns can't risk missing more magic - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: Suns can't risk missing more magic

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Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. Contact him at

Posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012 12:00 am

What a shame it would be that, in the rush to hustle Steve Nash out the US Airways Center doors and "give him a chance to chase a championship" while the Suns tend to the business of rebuilding, Phoenix fans wound up missing one of the best seasons crafted by the best player in franchise history.

Sorry, Charlie.

As much as I appreciate Charles Barkley putting Phoenix on the entertainment map, and his incredible MVP season of 1992-93 when he led the Suns to the NBA Finals, Nash has surpassed Barkley, Walter Davis, Kevin Johnson, Alvan Adams and all the other deserving of Ring of Honor members.

At age 38, on a team devoid of stars and, so far, decent shooters, Nash is still getting it done. His selection to the Western Conference All-Star team this week was only in doubt because of Phoenix's pedestrian record and severely diminished role in the NBA pecking order.

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is blowing up all over the world for having what would be an average week for Nash.

For all the detractors that point to his defensive liabilities and cranky spondylolisthesis, watching Nash play basketball has been, and continues to be, a pleasure.

He again leads the NBA in assists, and imagine what the totals would be if was surrounded by a few people who could shoot straight. After he made all seven shots against Houston on Thursday - he's shooting 57 percent from the field. He has scored or assisted on 57 percent of all the Suns points this year.

When I was 38, my bones cracked when I yawned.

I know the object is to win a championship. I know that despite Nash's two league MVPs and all those points and all those wins, the Suns never got past the Western Conference Finals. I know that, despite his best efforts to fend off Father Time, he won't be a part of the next decent incarnation of the Suns.

But the teams that need Nash aren't going to part with players who can help them and their draft pick won't find the lottery.Bad teams with draft picks and good young players: Would the Suns really do that to Nash?

With the current ownership and braintrust in charge, the chances of a quick Genesis on Planet Orange seem remote, if not impossible. So if Nash wants to sign up for two more years and double-double his way into his 40s, why not let him? In the meantime, if someone comes up with an offer that Lon Babby and Lance Blanks can't refuse, well, let's just catch that bounce pass when it comes our way.

Quick Hitters

• I'm not a huge fan of LeBron James since "The Decision," but the complaints by Kendrick Perkins this week - after Big Perk was caught in the crossfire of a Blake Griffin complimentary dunk last week - are unfounded. James was touting Griffin for his dunk, and Perkins was the dunk-ee.

Hey Perk, if you don't want to be a tweet topic, don't let it happen.

James was double-teamed this week when Larry Bird said he would rather play with Kobe Bryant than LeBron, saying if you want to have fun you play with The King, but if you want rings you play with Black Mamba.

Hard to defend you on that one, LeBron. South Beach is waiting. The world is standing by to witness. Whenever you're ready, big guy.

• Can't believe how Eli Manning has pole-vaulted past Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as the quarterback of choice in the NFL.

Two championship rings must be respected and Eli played well - but not spectacularly - in both big games. For me, the enduring image of Super Bowl XLVI will be of a Giant scoring the winning touchdown while trying desperately not to score.

Not exactly Montana-to-Rice.

Tom Brady won three Super Bowls. He took New England down the field for the go-ahead touchdown against the Giants in Glendale in 2008 and never got the ball back. Last Sunday wasn't his finest moment, but let's take a step back before lumping him in with Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton.

•Can't remember being this pumped about an upcoming baseball season. With an improved starting staff, a beefed-up bullpen and more power in the lineup, the Diamondbacks appear to have all the bases covered. Plus there's a farm system that will produce both future stars and chips for GM Kevin Towers to use in the trade market.

It's amazing how fast this organization got well from top to bottom.

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