While changes in the front office, on the bench and in the lineup may have laid the groundwork for a bright future, in the here and now it looks like it's shaping up to be another dismal season in the desert for the Phoenix Suns, one in which maturation and development comes at the price of a boatload of defeats. (Which, y'know, is all part of the plan.)
Even if the 2013-14 season is marred by losses, though, the Suns have already secured what a certain type of Internet users might call an epic win. From Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire, your go-to source for domain name news:
As for the Phoenix Suns, the NBA team bought Beat.la for $5,300. GoDaddy just started a marketing push to help brand .la as the domain name for Los Angeles, even though it’s the country code domain for Laos. This is a clever domain for the Suns to drum up their rivalry.
(Here's here we remind you, just for funsies, that new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough grew up in Hingham, Mass., as the son of legendary Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough and rose to prominence in the Celtics organization. Just putting that out there.)
You can see the placeholder image at the site up top, or better yet, go see for yourself — this is legit. The Phoenix Suns have, it seems, decided to follow up a season in which they had the Western Conference's worst record and precede another in which they might just equal that feat by taking a swipe at the Los Angeles Lakers. And, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times noted, "the Suns may be able to double-up their usage" with content or promotions targeted at the Los Angeles Clippers now that they're the big dogs in the Pacific Division and, with new head coach Doc Rivers at the helm, a potential title contender. (Shrewd synergy strat/multipurpose branding play.)
The early-August trolling might seem random, but it doesn't come out of nowhere — while the Suns have struggled over the past three seasons, Phoenix and the Lakers do have quite a history. The two teams have met in the playoffs 12 times since the Suns joined the NBA for the 1968-69 season, with Phoenix coming out on top four times (1990, 1993, 2006, 2007) and L.A. ousting the Suns eight times (1970, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2000 and 2010). That 2010 Western Conference finals series propelled the Lakers to an NBA title win over the Boston Celtics, while it began a downward spiral for the Suns, who not only sputtered to a 98-132 record and back-to-back-to-back lottery trips over the next three seasons, but also saw franchise centerpiece/two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash leave in a sign-and-trade ... to those very same Lakers, to whom Nash engineered the deal so he could be closer to his children.
It's like the old saying goes: "Revenge for taking our most legendary point guard is a dish best served on a cold Laotian vanity URL." A tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, etc., etc.
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