Valley of the Suns

The Barkley-dominated Suns had a stranglehold on us. Team Nash is better. Let's go crazy!

"This community has evolved. There are a lot of things different today, when you look back at '92-'93. We didn't have major league baseball back then," Colangelo says. "The Suns were the only game in town. Everyone shares the stage today. It's a very saturated marketplace."

It would be a shame for this community to fail to hugely embrace the Suns as the team heads into the heart of the playoffs. This team exhibits the best qualities of professional sports: amazing individual skills and, most of all, unselfish play.

It's free of the self-centered gibberish that Barkley spewed. "I am not a role model" and "What goes on here, stays here" are two such statements that ring loudly in my memory. Barkley had a mouth, all right, but in the end he couldn't deliver enough. It amuses me to hear him brag on TNT about his '92-'93 team and downgrade this season's Suns, as if he's protecting his legacy.

Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo compares Barkley's Suns with the Nash Era.
Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo compares Barkley's Suns with the Nash Era.

This team doesn't have a loudmouth among its 12 players -- which may not be as much fun for sports talk radio and water-cooler gossip. But I think this bunch has a much better chance of taking it all the way.

There's no doubt that this Suns team is focused on winning. That team members have shelved their egos to reach for the ring. Unlike Barkley's team of old pros, if they don't make it this time, there's more to come.

I'm pulling for these guys to fulfill Colangelo's greatest dream, not only because of what they do on the court but how they do it.

This team has the potential to eclipse Barkley's Suns and become the greatest team in franchise history. Plus one of the greatest teams in NBA history -- guys who did it with fan-pleasing run-and-gun style.

Just like in 1993, all the ingredients are in place.

But there's one big difference.

Barkley thought the way to the title was for teammates to give him the ball.

Nash believes the pathway to glory is to give the ball to others.

I'm rooting for the latter to win out, and you should, too. It's past time to go crazy!

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