Bank Shots: It’s good to be loved, better to be despised (and Steve Nash flopped)
For reasons not entirely clear, fans of the Phoenix Suns tend to show more than a little bit of hostility towards anything related to the San Antonio Spurs.
Okay, so perhaps there are a few reasons. Tony Parker constantly torches Steve Nash and the Suns defense, Manu Ginobili hits the floor a lot, Tim Duncan hit a big 3-pointer, and Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry just flat out hit a few Phoenix Suns players.
If that werenâ€™t bad enough, Gregg Popovich and RC Buford have seemingly gone out of their way time and time again just to acquire players famous for pissing off Suns fans (Mario Elie, Antonio McDyess). Popovich, after all, just loves to toy with their minds. (Right, Shaq?)
Still, one would think that after releasing the Dragic and Steve Nash beating the Spurs with one eye tied behind his back last year, that bygones could be bygones, right? Well last week the Phoenix Suns official website published a list of the top-10 Suns villains, and truth be told itâ€™s at worst a little insulting, and at best woefully misguided.
The insults arenâ€™t so much the cheap shots taken at Bruce Bowenâ€™s ESPN bow tie, or calling Tim Duncan the Darth Vader to the Spurs’ â€œEvil Empire,â€ (though kudos for the â€œcalling Duncan a centerâ€ burn, he hates that, it makes him grumpier than he already is).
Really, the tragedy is Phoenix cheapening their hatred of the Spurs by bookending all those wonderfully-spiteful Spurs memories with two Lakers photographs.
Granted, technically Sasha Vujacic is not on the list (nor is he even a Laker anymore), but he did make the front page. And really, who pegs Sasha Vujacic as a villain? Sure, no one really likes him, but the guy is basically harmless (even more so now that heâ€™s in New Jersey).
But Kobe Bryant?! While Bryant did have that little back-and-forth with Raja Bell a few years back — and as a good rule of thumb Bryant is generally despised by all fan bases that do not type with their caps lock on (or use â€œzâ€ to pluralize everything, or use the word â€œhaterzâ€) — is Kobe really public enemy No. 1 in Phoenix?
As much as Iâ€™d like to post video of Robert Horry and Bruce Bowenâ€™s greatest hits to refresh some memories, Iâ€™ll settle for being content with the knowledge of the San Antonio Spurs likely adding two more players to that list (Gary Neal will probably hit a few clutch three-pointers and Tiago Splitter likes to fall a lot too).
Because ultimately any villains list in Phoenix that features an opposing player at the top slot is completely wrong. If you must boo anyone Phoenix, turn it inward and go nuts on the man that deserves it: Robert Sarver.
Blessed with one of the best offensive point guards of all-time, Sarver wasted the Steve Nash-era by selling off draft picks and any kind of depth the team could have hoped to contend with (selling picks that could have been any of the following: Luol Deng, Marcin Gortat, Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson, Rudy Fernandez).
So hopefully Sarver sells the team before the next list comes out (and before Nash and Grant Hill retire), making him eligible to be in his rightful place.
And just for fun–Steve Nash flopped (or rather, sold the hit, when Robert Horry hit him, and here’s the proof: