Forget the Masters, this column is becoming a tradition unlike any other. It’s the unfortunately sixth annual “Which team should Phoenix Suns fans root for in the playoffs?” extravaganza!
If you’re like me as a Suns fan, and for your and your family’s sake I hope you’re not, the NBA Playoffs have become an event much like attending a stranger’s wedding. It can be fun but it’d be much more interesting and you’d be more emotionally invested if people you knew well were involved.
In Phoenix, we have to manufacture some playoff excitement. Last season I presented the five rules for selecting a team to root for. They were simple No Teams that Handed the Suns Crushing Playoff Defeats, No Front Running, No L.A., Can’t Forgive the 1969 Coin Toss and No Former Suns.
We’ll use those rules as a framework again this year, although, Milwaukee made it easier by making one of them a non-factor. (If you don’t know which one, hand in your Suns fan card to the security guard at the door and see yourself out.) To add some fun to it though, we’re going to categorize each group of potential Suns fan suitors by movies from the last two decades.
You all remember this failed 2003 film starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, right? You don’t? Well that’s probably because it was an awful train wreck that almost completely derailed both stars acting careers.
These are teams that are star-studded and in theory would be fun to root for but you’d rather take a wiffleball bat to the nether regions than pull for them to win a title.
Cross off the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City (Can’t forgive them for their mob hit on the Seattle Supersonics).
Good Luck Chuck
This gem was a forgettable comedy fare from Dane Cook. Then again, maybe disliking it had more to do with Cook’s grating personality than the film itself.
The teams in this category are ones that have players that you just can’t stand no matter who they play for and thus could never support them.
Get rid of the Detroit Pistons (see ya Marcus Morris), the Memphis Grizzlies (Lance Stephenson and Matt Barnes? Enough said), Charlotte Hornets (never rooting for MJ in the playoffs) and the Boston Celtics (Sorry Danny Ainge but if you covered Paxson in 1993 this’d be a different story).
Body of Lies
This 2008 flick might be one of the most forgettable movies of the last 20 years and guess what, it even starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and was directed by Ridley Scott.
The 2016 NBA Playoff version of this for Suns fans has to be the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks.
Transformers (Any of them. You Pick)
Big budget, big stars, brings in lots of money but it feels to cliché to say you like it.
Yep, get rid of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
Batman v Superman
This is a film many of us so badly wanted to like and even made excuses justifying why we did. In the end, it just didn’t feel right.
As a Suns’ fan rooting for the Miami Heat is this way due to all the former Suns on the roster. It’d just feel odd to see them win a title. The Toronto Raptors will also fall on this list since they were the team we selected to root for and we know how that worked out.
The Merc with the Mouth’s first foray onto the big screen was universally loved because it was entertaining. Part of the reason it was so entertaining because it was familiar thanks to the genre it lived in but found ways to succeed that other films like it hadn’t done yet.
That’s right, the only way this could end for Suns fans is with the Portland Trail Blazers. They’re a young team who was spurned by LaMarcus Aldridge, is rebuilding and their offense is predicated on a two point guard backcourt. They’ll be familiar to Suns fans but they’ve obviously succeeded where the Phoenix has failed so far. They’re a team that provides hope for the future.
So congratulations Portland, the Trail Blazers are who Suns fans will be pulling for this post season. Oh, and sorry in advance. It pretty much ensures you won’t be winning the title this year.