Guest Editorial: Just Drop It

By The Happy Wanderer

The name “Robert Horry” can conjure hate in every Phoenix Suns fan. With the Suns leading the San Antonio Spurs 100-97 late in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals, Horry hip checked Suns point guard Steve Nash and sent Nash sprawling into the scorer’s table. Suns players Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw immediately jumped up and left the bench as if to protect their fallen teammate. There was no fight, but the NBA suspended Stoudemire and Diaw one game each for “leaving the immediate vicinity of their bench.”

Without Stoudemire and Diaw, two of their strongest defenders, the Suns were unable to guard Spurs power forward Tim Duncan effectively. “The Big Fundamental” had his way with the Suns frontcourt and led San Antonio to a 4-2 series over Phoenix.

Many Phoenix Suns fans haven’t gotten over what happened. They feel like that 2006-07 Suns squad was the best the team has fielded in its 51-year history. Had Diaw and Stoudemire not been suspended, they contend, the team would have cruised through the rest of the playoffs and emerged victorious as 2007 NBA Champions. Chants of “We were robbed!” have been chanted on many a night in the 12 years since.

Though they can feel as if they were wronged, Suns fans need to get over what happened in 2007. This is the same advice we’d impart upon opponents of the Phoenix City Council’s decision to approve of a $230 million deal to renovate the 26-year old Talking Stick Resort Arena.

You see, there’s a shadowy political committee, Common Sense Phoenix, which has launched a petition drive in order to force a voter referendum on the Suns deal. It must collect nearly 13,700 valid signatures in 30 days in order to force a public vote later in 2019. On Thursday, Phoenix let the committee know the city clerk’s office will reject and refuse to process the petitions they submit.

We won’t venture into the legalese and distinguish between “a legislative act” and “an administrative act,” but we’re not afraid to say that Common Sense Phoenix is demonstrating anything but common sense.

The deal is done. It won by a 6-2 vote after appearing DOA when councilmembers were supposed to decide its fate back in December. Not only does the approved deal ensure that the Suns stay downtown, it ensures that Phoenix has a world-class facility. Furthermore, the deal has several community benefits. For instance, it stipulates that Phoenix will commit 80 percent of any additional revenues generated by the city from the arena toward public safety. Likewise, the Suns will make a $10 million community benefit investment this year as part of the deal, $2.6 million of which will aid the Phoenix Head Start program.

It’s not exactly the Nike slogan, but it’s close: Just Drop It. We recommend that Common Sense Phoenix do precisely that as quick as possible.