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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Phoenix: Apparently In The Molting Process.

phoenix (fē'nĭks)
1. Mythology. A bird in Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, later to rise renewed from its ashes.


This name is getting more and more appropriate every game. Since the trade that brought Shaq over from Miami the self consumption has continued. Apparently the fire that will consume this Phoenix will be fueled by all the gas coming from Shaquille O'neal.

I was one of those who doubted that this was a good trade. In fact I knew it wasn't. As a Laker fan I watched Shaq peak in LA. Then I watched the decline begin in Miami. This season the downhill slide became a drop off of a cliff. Shaq's promises of a ring in Phoenix didn't bother me. What else was he supposed to say. "You all are a bunch of suckers for taking on the Big Grand Canyon of Talent" isn't really a reasonable thing for him to shout over the microphone when they introduce him. So instead he stands up and points to one finger. The crowd thinks championship. Shaq was thinking 1st man off the bench sounds good to me.

Those were just the beginnings though. The real sign of trouble came against Detroit the other night. After a game that included Steve Nash whining to the officials—everyone made this out to be rare, I think he is whiny little punk—Grant Hill even complained, that actually is rare.

Grant Hill's whining was at least humorous. He said he knew it had gotten bad when even Rasheed Wallace was agreeing with him on calls that favored Wallace's Pistons.

Whether the game was officiated poorly or not—I think a lot of NBA games are— isn't the point. The point is that when you start complaining about the officials, the game is over. In this case the name of the game is "Will Phoenix Get That Ring Shaq promised". They're still playing but, like I said...GAME OVER.

Phoenix may win in the court of public opinion. But I have never seen on old retired NBA players reminisce about his wins there. They usually get nostalgic while they are rubbing their rings. If Phoenix can they should suck it up and worry about what they are doing not what the refs are doing, and what the other team thinks about what the refs are doing. Neither helps them. In fact both hurt them.