Letting the Suns set on style

This Shaq to the Suns trade talk has bothered me all day.

Do you want to know why?

Because the Suns just sold out.

Because it feels like the team is giving in on their patented style of *gasp!* entertaining basketball. Like they’re conceding to the grind out brutes in the league. Like they’ve realized that if you can’t beat the Pistons and Spurs, you might as well join them.

To hell with that. Don’t let your style lapse in a last ditch effort for a ring. Dance with the one that brought you. Stay strong, damn it, and don’t give in. Seriously – Shaq? That’s everything that the Suns AREN’T.

Thankfully, Free Darko, as always, laments the loss of the league’s most entertaining team.

From Bethelehem Shoals’s most recent post at Free Darko:

If the Suns were going to win a title, it should’ve been on their own terms. They should’ve thrown themselves back in it again, knowing that they’d brought something to this game, something that could beat back others. It would’ve taken a little luck, or a particularly torrid run, but that’s what their whole style was predicated on. Now, we’re back in the realm of positivism. Rotting positivism. As far as the eye can see.

And his sorrow continues at The Sporting News:

What I’m really concerned about is myself. I don’t care that the Suns had trouble winning a title. They stood for everything that made me love this game, and today, I suffer through my own kind of mourning. To help me through this process, I’ve turned to those psychology classes I never took in college. First, there’s Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s famed Five Stages of Grief. You’ve probably heard those at your local mortuary, or on Six Feet Under:

1. Denial: The proof is in the chat transcripts. I probably typed “no effing way” or “this can’t be happening” fifty times last night.

2. Anger: I wrote this in the throes of psychosis. Looking at it now, I’m frankly kind of disturbed. Also, how gimpy is this team all of a sudden? Nash, Amare, Grant Hill … and now Shaq?

I moped about the loss of style during last year’s playoffs. And now, with the Pacers drilling a hole to a top draft pick and the Celtics without KG, my only solace was in watching the Suns do what they do best. Play with style.

Now, even that’s gone.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 6th, 2008