When the Phoenix Suns take the floor at the US Airways Center to begin their triumphant run to a "Glide"-guaranteed middle-of-the-pack spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, they'll be setting foot on a brand new deck. Watch the fast-motion construction of said court above; we are quite sure that the famously boisterous Jermaine O'Neal is beside himself with glee at the prospect of getting out there, mixin' it up and runnin' around and oh whoops pulled something need to sit down for a few months.
The new court, which the team teased via Instagram on Wednesday evening, is to some degree part of a turn-the-page branding effort not unlike the new slogans being sported by the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats, according to Suns senior director of marketing Nina Daily: "When you look at what we're trying to accomplish as a team this season, the excitement of a new year and the excitement of all these new and younger players, it was important to us to utilize a more modern feel on the court."
Part of that journey to modernity includes moving the Suns' "PHX" burning bird ball logo (which I did not realize was intended to be a flaming phoenix, because I am apparently not great with context clues) from its prominent place at center court to a pair of spots inside the 3-point line, and replacing it with an "ambigram" that allows fans on both sides of the arena to read the word "SUNS" the exact same way. It is a neat idea that is intended to draw fans' eyes to center court (which makes sense, because under the basket is where all the perimeter jumpers get missed and dunks get allowed). That, in combination with the black border that now surrounds the court, should help both focus eyeballs squarely on the action taking place on the two-tone deck and make sure fans at home know they're seeing something definitively different from what they watched during the Steve Nash era (for better or for worse, as it were).
While the fashion plates in NBA circles might prefer the herringbone swag of the Brooklyn Nets' new floor, there's something to be said for the at once unique and familiar style of the Suns' new ambigram flow. If nothing else, it's likely that way more of the dudes who cover the league own reversible clothing than anything with a herringbone pattern on it.
Also, if I can make one request of the Suns' video team: Please use this same music for a Michael Beasley highlight reel at some point later on this season. It just feels very Beasley to me.
Video via the Suns' YouTube channel.
- Sports & Recreation