Last Friday, Kelly Dwyer hipped you to the Phoenix Suns' plans to issue their fans refunds if they did not have a satisfactory amount of fun at one of their games. It was a bold move, and also a smart one — the Suns received lots of press via the Internet, TV, and various other media outlets.
On Thursday night, the Suns played that game, losing to the Dallas Mavericks 97-94 in front a sellout crowd at US Airways Center (though, as Shaquille O'Neal pointed out on TNT, there were some empty seats). But should fans demand a refund? Did they leave satisfied? If they weren't, all they have to do is fill out a form at the team's website and mail their ticket stub to the team offices.
This is a moral question, not merely a question of saving money. We are here to help. After the jump, consult a list of pros and cons to make an informed decision on whether or not it was a satisfying experience.
PRO: Although the Suns lost, they actually played quite well, charging back from a double-digit deficit late in the third quarter to tie the Mavs in the final minutes. They showed heart, considerable effort, and a desire to play hard for fans who pay a considerable amount of money to watch them.
CON: Despite the close score, the closing moments were quite anticlimactic, with a glut of free throws. Also, while the Suns' Shannon Brown did get off a desperation 3-point attempt as time expired, they might have had a better shot to win had head coach Alvin Gentry not called his final timeout with 34 seconds remaining.
PRO: Penny-pinching owner Robert Sarver, the man who refused to pay for reinforcements when the Suns were a legitimate championship contender, looked sick for most of the second half as he considered the possibility of refunding customers.
CON: The Mavericks started Derek Fisher, a player effectively suited for being spoken of by bored announcers as a calming veteran presence. It is almost as if owner Mark Cuban wanted the Suns to lose money to gain a competitive advantage.
PRO: Attending fans were spared from listening to TNT commentator Reggie Miller make a bizarre analogy between the Mavericks offense and "The Nutcracker" ballet (via @cjzero):
CON: Following the game, former Suns great Charles Barkley, who lives in Arizona, issued a characteristically blunt assessment of the contest: "That should have been an exciting game. It was not."
PRO: The ostensible game-winning shot, a jumper by O.J. Mayo over Sebastian Telfair (0:40 in this video), was the sort of difficult, dramatic basket that makes the NBA the great league it is. It's easy to appreciate plays of that quality even when they're made by the other team.
CON: Mayo chose the Mavericks over the Suns as a free agent this offseason. Michael Beasley, Phoenix's big July signing, shot 3 of 12 from the field in 21 minutes and is hitting shots at a sterling 37.4 percent clip this season.
PRO: All attending fans got to bask in the glow of this woman and her amazing hat (also via @cjzero):
EITHER PRO OR CON, DEPENDING ON YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE: This game, despite its essential uninspiring adequacy, may go down as one of the most exciting Suns home games of the season.
The choice is yours. Please act responsibly — your decision will reflect on your character.
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