UNINTERRUPTED | Phoenix Suns

0
53
UNINTERRUPTED | Phoenix Suns
UNINTERRUPTED | Phoenix Suns

It was December 18, 2006. The final buzzer sounded and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Toronto Raptors 115-98 for their 15th home win in a row. The next step should be a 24 hour round trip to Denver. Julie Fie, Vice President of Basketball Communications, recalls preparing for this trip 15 years ago. “We had just finished six road games in eight days, including drives back east with stops in Boston and Orlando, so we knew it would be easy to drive to Denver for a quick night drive after we beat Toronto at home . ”“ Basically you didn’t bring anything with you, just what you might need for the next morning and that’s it. Most of us took only the bare minimum. Even the training staff packed lights for the game in Denver, so many things like notes, chargers, laptops etc, nobody brought them. ”But Mother Nature had a different and colder plan for the scorching Phoenix suns that have been snowing for ages poured into a blizzard. “It snowed so much that we couldn’t play the Denver Nuggets on the 20th – we were so covered in snow for several days that we were locked in the hotel,” said Fie. The game was postponed to a later point in the season, but the Suns went on a date with the Washington Wizards at home in Phoenix on national television, the problem was getting home. “We waited as long as possible for travel conditions to improve, but on the 22nd we had to get off the bus to try to return to Phoenix for the game that evening. We took the bus to Colorado Springs and at that point we only had one bus. So employees, coaches and players all piled up on a single bus for the outward journey, which, due to the conditions, took twice as long, ”recalls Fie. “The bus from Denver to Colorado Springs took us longer than the flight from Colorado Springs to Phoenix. We finally got back in the Valley and drove straight to what was then the US Airways Center, where we got to the venue maybe an hour and a half before game time, ”recalled Fie. Despite travel difficulties, the 2006-07 Suns, led by two-time MVP Steve Nash, struggled admirably to maintain the series but eventually fell to the Wizards in extra time when Washington’s Gilbert Arenas lost 54 points for victory. The interrupted streak didn’t last long, however – the record was just a warm-up for what was to come. Just days later, the Suns began, setting the current franchise record of 17 consecutive wins from December 29, 2006 to January 28, 2007. Almost fifteen years later, today’s Suns now have the franchise record with their 104-96 win over the Golden State Warriors at the Footprint Center last night and securing the top spot in the Western Conference, they have won 17 games in a row. The Sun series is the NBA’s longest winning streak since the 2019-2020 season (Milwaukee, 18 games in a row) and cemented a perfect month of November for the team. For full-time front office members like Fie in her 30th year with the company, she sees parallels to the 06-07 team and the 21-22 Suns. “You had a team that was made up of good people from slightly different backgrounds, but they all had one thing in common that they love the game and respect each other,” said Fie. One striking thing they have in common is James Jones, who was a member of the Phoenix Suns from 06-07 and is now Executive of the Year 2021, General Manager of the Suns. “If you have great chemistry and talent, that’s something very special – and they had that back then and we have that now.” The showdown in the Western Conference was the first time in NBA history that two teams were out the same league hit over 20 games in one season, both of which had a win rate of over 0.850 – with the Suns at the top. Even at the age of 30, Bob Adlhoch, Executive Producer and Director of Phoenix Suns Productions, sees the same connection between the suns of the past and the present. “It’s amazing to look back on this team’s 06/07 schedule, they lost five of their first six games and then just ripped off all of those wins – much like how this team’s season started. For the rest of the year L was hardly on the agenda – and they met Prime Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, Kobe in Los Angeles, the big three in San Antonio… ”said Adlhoch. Beyond victories and defeats, Adlhoch sees the squad and culture comparison from the square to the bench. “When you look at it now, it’s really easy to compare a generally young team with an experienced point guard in Steve Nash and a generally young team with an experienced point guard in Chris Paul that brings it all together. Both teams are talented, but what makes them special is that the sum is greater than their parts. Add to that the coaching of a Mike D’Antoni and a Monty Williams and you can see how much this team and this team enjoy being together – you can’t pretend, these guys love to close the game play and play together, ”added Adlhoch. While the resemblance of both teams on and off the pitch peaks, a lot has changed since the Suns franchise last won 17 straight wins. On January 28, 2007, when the team’s streak ended: The Billboard Top 100 was dominated by Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” and the top ten list included The Fray’s legendary 2000s “How To Save A Life,” “My Love ”by Justin Timberlake and“ Welcome to the Black Parade ”by My Chemical Romance. The first generation iPhone was not due to hit the market until four months later. Twitter had only been around for nine months and Instagram was four years (2010) away from launch. The Suns will be looking to keep the streak alive when they face the Detroit Pistons at home on Thursday before facing the Warriors again on Friday in San Francisco. For more in-depth Phoenix Suns news and stories, stay tuned to Suns.com and @Suns on social media. Photo credit: Gary Dineen / NBAE via Getty Images

[ad_2]