Letters from the issue of Thursday, May 8, 2008

DYING SUNS

It wasn't Kerr's fault: Okay, it's over for the Phoenix Suns, but I still think your story on Steve Kerr was an important one to tell ("Running Down a Dream," Paul Rubin, April 24). It's moving how Kerr overcame the death of his father to become a legendary NBA player and general manager for the Suns.

Something to be remembered in the Suns' demise is that Kerr is not to blame, nor is the big guy he acquired from the Miami Heat. The Shaquille O'Neal deal should have worked for the Suns. Certainly, Shaq isn't what he used to be as a player, but he did what he was supposed to do. He scored in double figures and had double-figure rebounds.

It was the rest of the Suns who couldn't work with O'Neal, principally Steve Nash. Maybe [Nash] is getting too old and should be traded. I just pray the Suns do something in the off-season that gives us hope for the future.

But back to the Kerr story. I found it a compelling read. Especially the part about how everybody kept counting Kerr out, and he kept succeeding. When the fans were yelling "PLO, PLO" at him, that was tragic. It's proof of how ridiculously seriously fans take sports.
Hope McNamara, Phoenix

It was Kerr's fault: What great timing! New Times runs a story on the great — not! — Steve Kerr just as the Suns are tanking. Couldn't happen to a nicer publication. Just goes to show you why New Times is wrong about so many things so much of the time.

Steve Kerr was a mediocre player, and he's worse than a mediocre general manager. Why is it that owner Robert Sarver (who's supposed to be a shrewd businessman) would think Steve Kerr would know anything about managing?

Kerr didn't even have the gumption to stop Sarver and Mike D'Antoni (who's got to be one of the dumbest fuckers around) from getting the worn-out Shaquille O'Neal. Way to stand up for what you believe in, Kerr! It's well known that you didn't really like the trade.

Maybe if the Suns snagged a Hall of Fame general manager (Kerr will never be in the Hall of Fame as a player), he could trade for the missing piece that would win us a championship. It certainly wasn't Shaq.

If this reads like I'm bitter, I am! Planet Orange, my ass!
Redd Savage, Phoenix

Most people would've crumbled: The Steve Kerr story was a delight. Too bad nobody on the Suns is as consistent a three-point shooter as Steve was. The team wouldn't have lost [the San Antonio playoff series] if somebody could have gone in and hit consistently.

The best aspect of the Kerr story is learning about his history, about how he came back to realize his dream after his father was violently murdered by extremists in Lebanon. Most people would have crumbled under that, but it seemed to motivate Steve to become a basketball legend.

What I love about New Times is that it not only tells the story but tells the story behind the story. And so many times, with such elegance.
Timothy Davis, Tempe

Shaq, Kerr did their jobs: Now that we have stuck a fork in the Suns, I have to say that I really enjoyed the Steve Kerr profile. Obviously, the Shaq deal didn't bring a title to Phoenix, but that doesn't mean it was a bad idea.

I think Kerr is to be congratulated for having done it, because Shaq was a joy to have around. He also did his job. As one of the sports columnists I happened to read said: The Suns didn't blow it because of the Shaq trade. He did what he was supposed to do. They blew it because Coach Mike D'Antoni couldn't adapt the team to any sort of low-post game.
Troy Cinnelli, Tucson

Talent and space: Thanks for the penetrating look at Steve Kerr's life by Paul Rubin. Rubin once again has given New Times readers a great yarn. He tells the stories that the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star either don't have the space or the talent to tell. Signed, Paul's mom. Just kidding!
David Westfield, Tucson

Everyone knows kids can be cruel: How can people be so cruel? The part about the fans heckling Steve Kerr over the death of his dad was so sad. It made me cry to think about how that must have been for him.

Granted, these were only college kids, but they were kids whose parents didn't bring them up well. Some things are simply off-limits.
Sue Tedesco, Las Vegas

Dare to dream, Joseph: Steve Kerr truly did have an amazing career. He was in the right place at the right time. I love this kind of story because it makes some of us think that maybe, just maybe (you know, if we had just had just that break or two) we could have been a sports legend, too.

Your story got me to fantasizing. Then, I had to come back to Earth and realize that I never had a killer jump shot. Also, I'm 5-foot-7. Oh, well. For a minute, I dared to dream!
Joseph Gonzalez, Phoenix

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