So the Suns season is over. More importantly, it is apparant to all that it is an end of an era. The run-and-gun Suns are probably done. ESPN.com's Bill Simmons has a column that eulogizes the end of the running Suns and sums up why the Suns were so fun and why they weren't more successful. He really hits just about every point and it by far a worthwhile read. Check it out here.
Meanwhile, SI.'s Jack McCallum reported a few days ago that Mike D'Antoni is out as the Suns coach. He should know. He is as close to an "insider" as a news guy can be --having written an outstanding book on the Suns two years ago. D'Antoni doesn't feel "supported" by management (Duh!) and Mgmt isn't happy with D'Antoni's shortcomings as a defensive coach. But GM Steve Kerr denied this, as did D'Antoni (though half-heartedly).
The Republic reports here that the Suns brass (Kerr and Sarver) are meeting w/ D'Anoni and his lawyers today or this weekend. The claim is that nothing has been decided.
So what's going on? Kerr and Sarver are unhappy with D'Antoni and basically forced the Shaq trade on him. D'Antoni is miserable and is not getting much support from his players. But they are meeting, right?
What is really going on is simple. Both sides want to end the relationship. But D'Antoni has a contract and so alot of money is at stake. D'Antoni can't just walk away from that pile of cash. The Suns don't want to pay D'Antoni after they fire him, so they're trying to hound him into quitting. The meeting isn't going to resolve anything. What it might do is lead to a settlement --D'Antoni walks away with a cash settlement. Both sides want this, though neither will admit it. So we get the song and dance crap in the press.
Sarver's parsimony ruined the Suns (See Bill Simmons' article at the link up top). Now his attempt to save money forces everyone to pretend that D'Antoni might stay. It ain't happening. Its a new era for the Suns. Too bad.