Ball Don't Lie - NBA

If we've learned anything about the Phoenix Suns this postseason — besides the fact that their point guards don't need two eyes to play hoops effectively — it's that they're a likable bunch. They stood up for a cause they believed in, they helped invent an excellent new joke game, and they've been the most entertaining team in the playoffs. That's a solid month of benevolent behavior.

It's been such an effective campaign of fun that the Suns are even winning converts in Los Angeles, despite playing a playoff series there. As Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register found out, hating the Suns is hard.

Part of the problem here is the opponent. Does anyone really hate the Phoenix Suns? And why, exactly? [...]

Just look at this Phoenix roster today:

Stoudemire? His opposition was so suspect Monday that Odom routinely drove around him and Gasol simply went over him.

Steve Nash(notes)? He's Canadian. Who hates Canada, the junior varsity of America?

Grant Hill(notes)? An overwhelmingly good guy from squeaky clean Duke.

Jason Richardson(notes)? The poor dude's from Saginaw, Mich. Hasn't he been through enough already?

Robin Lopez(notes)? Looks too much like Sideshow Bob from "The Simpsons" to be seriously disliked.

Leandro Barbosa(notes)? When he makes a contribution at home games, they play that "Beep, beep" sound from the roadrunner cartoons.

Amundson? Wears a pigtail.

Channing Frye(notes)? He stands on the perimeter and lobs 3-pointers...and his name is Channing. How threatening can a man be when he's named Channing?

Goran Dragic(notes)? Jared Dudley(notes)? They play hard, and that's about it. Can't despise someone just for that.

Miller makes a good point. It's hard to look at the Suns and say, "I really don't like the way they play hard, score a lot of points and seem to enjoy each other. Furthermore, I don't like smiling or popsicles because I'm a mean person. Check out this new Nickelback song, you'll love it." There is literally no one who could or would say that.

And that's a little unfair to Lakers fans. Plenty of people don't like the Lakers, so it's only right that there should be some ammunition for the anti-Phoenix contingent. Here are some suggestions:

• In "Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)" Jay-Z tried to rhyme the word "phoenix" with "Titanic sinkin'." If a team's town can make Jay-Z sound silly, that's bad.

• You suffer from polymorphous light eruption.

Louis Amundson's(notes) hair is actually a pretty good reason why someone might not like the Suns. Same with Robin Lopez and Steve Nash for that matter.

• Maybe you or one of your relatives lost an eye at some point in life and think that people are giving Nash too much credit for playing with a boo-boo.

• You can hate the Suns because you used to like the band Phoenix before they started showing up in Cadillac commercials. Sell outs!

Those are just a few of the many terrible reasons to hate the Suns. In all honesty, I can't really come up with a legitimate reason for disliking them. So either get with the program and realize these guys are fun, or give me some real reasons to root against them. Consider the gauntlet thrown.

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