Best Poetic Justice in Sports 2016 | Steve Kerr | Fun & Games | Phoenix

Steve Kerr was part of a group that bought the Phoenix Suns in 2004, and up until 2010 he was the team's general manager. But he left after that season when majority owner Robert Sarver refused to give Kerr and the Suns' coaches raises, and Kerr sat on the sidelines until he became the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2014. Since then, Phoenix Suns fans have had to watch glumly as the Warriors became one of the most exciting teams in NBA history, with our former GM leading the team in 2016 to an NBA-record 73 regular-season wins. Kerr's success must feel like sand in Sarver's eyes, and Suns fans are forced to watch Kerr lead a team that has lost just one more game in two years than the Suns won during the  2015-16 season.

Santa gave the Phoenix Suns a stinker of a present at the end of 2015. Shortly after the holiday, the Suns fired two of head coach Jeff Hornacek's assistants, Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi, after the team had sputtered to a start that meekly flirted with respectability. The move was disastrous. The Suns then proceeded to win just three games out of their next 30. Naturally, team leaders then fired head coach Jeff Hornacek, who had taken the reins of a promising roster two years earlier and then went on to steer the carriage into a lake. Owner Robert Sarver then promoted the lone remaining assistant coach, Earl Watson, to interim head coach, despite the fact Watson's sole head coaching experience came in the NBA's development league. Naturally, the Suns finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA. But hey, at least the team got some sweet draft picks as a result.

Was it weird for the Diamondbacks to sign ace pitcher Zack Greinke to a $34 million-a-year contract? Well, in the context of a grown man getting paid $200,000 a day to throw a ball past another grown man, yes. In the context of baseball, even more so. The move placed the second-biggest salary in baseball on a team with the fifth-smallest payroll in the league. But for that kind of money, you expect big-time results, and neither Greinke nor the Diamondbacks have delivered to expectations. Greinke is having an okay season, sure, but for that kind of money, you'd better be pitching like you're in a video game on easy mode, and Greinke has looked disappointingly human.

Best Place to See a Spring Training Game

Salt River Fields

If baseball is America's pastime, then we think it's safe to say that spring training specifically is Arizona's. Despite the increased traffic from snowbirds, spring training might just be the most wonderful time of the year in the Valley. And while we're lucky enough to choose from a mittful of places to watch this American classic, we keep going back to Salt River Fields. Even if the complex wasn't incredibly easy to access right off the Loop 101, didn't have an abundance of parking available or a well-shaded grandstand, and didn't offer great tanning potential on the affordable lawn seating, we'd still have a soft spot for these fields. What could be better than watching our home team play against the background of the beautiful McDowell Mountains in the distance?

In a region known for top-notch golf courses, it can be hard to choose. Don't get teed off; choose SunRidge Canyon, made famous by its challenging last six holes (the Wicked Six). Though the 71-par course is in a residential neighborhood, it doesn't feel that way, because everywhere you go on the course, you're surrounded by gorgeous panoramic views of the McDowell Mountains. And it's not just the backdrop that's beautiful. Designer Keith Foster made a point of incorporating the naturally occurring rock deposits and undulations of the land in his design, giving the course a uniquely tranquil and desert-like feel. Make sure you save time to check out the patio and outdoor fire pit at the Wicked Six Bar & Grill restaurant — unless you've somehow grown tired of breathtaking views.

The history behind Big Surf is nothing short of incredible. Once a pool hall featuring musical acts such as Pink Floyd and Elton John, for decades, Phoenicians have been catching waves formed from 2.5 million gallons of water. These days, Big Surf is a bona fide water park, with speeding water sides and its newest addition, the Mauna Kea Zip Line. Big Surf is bringing the island vibes without the jet lag.

If you want to feel hip, modern, and cool (literally), we recommend grabbing your most fashionable swimsuit and heading over to the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix. Sure, other hotel pools might be larger or more tricked-out, but none are more stylish than the Palomar's rooftop escape. Between dips, you can lounge in one of the plush poolside cabanas with a delicious cocktail from Lustre Rooftop Bar, just actual steps from the edge of the pool. And if you time your visit just right, you can bathe in the glow of the evening sun reflecting off the surrounding skyscrapers. We don't think there's any place that in Phoenix that feels more "big city."

One of the best things about venturing into nature is the humbling feeling of being incredibly small. And thanks to the fact that Phoenix has the largest municipal park in the nation within the city's limits, this feeling is always close at hand. If you truly want to take advantage of everything South Mountain has to offer, we suggest visiting at sunset. Whether you brave the hike or opt for the windy drive to the summit, there's no better place to let the vastness of both the park and the surrounding city overwhelm you than standing on the peak of the mountain while watching the glow of the evening golden hour wash over the Valley.

Everybody knows that Phoenix has stunning, photo-worthy sunsets. Though fewer people rave about them, the Valley's sunrises are just as remarkable. Maybe the desert's daybreaks have kept a lower profile because it's not as convenient to wake up before the sun to catch these spectacles. Or maybe it's just because people don't know the best place from which to view them. Well, take note, early birds: Phoenix Mountains Preserve holds the best places to watch the sun slowly peek over the eastern horizon. And the best part is that the hikes to get to the vantage points aren't overly strenuous. Stick to the southern side of the preserve, try to get as much height as possible, and watch the Valley light up as the day begins.

We know you've seen it before. The bright, colorful dresses, the braided hair with flowers, the embroidered jackets and pants, the large decorative sombreros. The women and girls dance in hypnotizing circles while holding the hems of their long skirts up in the air, swishing them back and forth gracefully. The men stamp their feet, echoing the beat of the music. This is folklorico, a traditional Mexican dance. And our favorite performers of this historic art form belong to Ballet Folklorico Ollin Yoliztli. "Ollin Yoliztli" means "life and movement" in ancient Aztec, and it's clear to see the meaning of the words incarnate combined with pride in the tradition in the motions of the school's students.

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