What If... Social Media Existed During the 1993 NBA Finals

By Greg Esposito, Suns.com
Posted: Oct. 28, 2011

How do you know when you have a problem?

I only ask because I’m starting to think I might have one involving the Phoenix Suns and NBA TV. Over the last week the network has been airing the best games of the 1993 playoffs. While that sounds like a great thing on the surface -- I mean really, who wouldn’t want to relive when Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle and the rest of the Suns wreaked havoc on a good portion of the NBA -- but when you dig a little deeper there’s just one major problem. No matter how many times I try to act like the Man of Steel -- the superhero not the former center -- in Superman: The Movie I just can’t fly fast enough to turn back time and change the way that season ended. Alright, I’ll be honest, I can’t fly at all but hoping and wishing it will end differently hasn’t worked either.

Yet, even knowing that fact, I can’t seem to stop watching the games, even the ones that end at 2 a.m on a work night. It was fine for the first four they showed. All of them were Suns victories including Game 5 of the first round versus the Lakers (the guys upholding Westphal’s guarantee), Game 6 of the semifinals versus the Spurs (Barkley spinning the ball in his hands before hitting the dagger over Robinson), Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against Seattle (Sir Charles’ huge triple double) and Game 7 of that series (punching their ticket to the finals). All of those games brought a smile to my face. There was the classic NBA on NBC music written by John Tesh accompanied by the bulky and totally 90s graphics on the screen. Marv Albert was calling the action and the players I grew up watching were back on the court. It all made me feel like a 15-year-old girl waiting for the next installment of Twilight to come out, minus the strange vampire obsession.

It was great, especially seeing as I was finally old enough to truly appreciate how great that team was. See, 18 years provided me with the perspective that the 9-year-old Espo lacked, the prospective of just how extremely difficult it is for your team to make numerous finals if they aren’t named the Lakers, Bulls, Rockets, Spurs, Heat or Pistons.

Then the network showed Game 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals and reality set in. If you don’t remember, or aren’t old enough to have watched it, despite having home court advantage and making huge comebacks against the Bulls, Chicago took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Yes, the Suns did win one of the most entertaining games in Finals history, a triple overtime affair, in Game 3 in front of Bill Swerski, his super fans and the rest of the Windy City but we all know how that final game and John Paxson’s 3 pointer played out.

Instead of admitting I have an issue, turning off the TV, and not reliving a series that has scarred me more than watching a 24 hour Real Housewives marathon would, I decided to watch the games but make it productive for work. Since I’m the Social Media Specialist for the team and Twitter is a huge part of my life I began to wonder what my tweets would have looked like if the medium had been around during the 1993 Finals. Instead of just wondering, I decided to write them for all of you to enjoy (or not, it’s really up to personal preference). So consider this an extremely retro diary.

Game 1:

“Phil Jackson is completely a byproduct of Jordan. He’ll never win anything without him. Though his Magnum P.I. mustache is enchanting.”

“Even though Oliver Miller is only 6’ 9” he’ll undoubtedly become the biggest center in Suns history and set records.”

“In this game you could call Barkley and the rest of the teams shooting turrible.”

“Oops that should have read terrible. #Typos”

Game 2:

“Charles Barkley is the Zack Morris of the Suns. Everything, good or bad, revolves around him. If only he had a teammate named AC."

“Danny Ainge is coming up huge in this game and keeping the Suns in it. After a performance like this there’s nothing he could do to be considered a disappointment.”

Game 3:

“We’ll probably never see another 3 OT game in the Finals like 1976. It’s like Lou Gehrig’s streak. It’ll never be matched. #RandomThought”

“I am most definitely sorry I booed that young man Dan Majerle. #SorryCotton”

“If I told you MJ would score 44 and Barkley would only have 24 you’d say the Suns lost. You’d be wrong. #GreatGame #ComebackBegins”

“About that 3OT tweet. Oops. #GreatestGameEver #3OTBestGameForMe”

Game 4:

“After a 3OT game I don’t have much left. Apparently neither did the Suns bench. #StillBelieve”

Game 5:

“Paul Westphal and Phil Jackson’s ties will never go out of style. Those things look amazing. #FashionSense”

“I know he’s a Laker, but I enjoy Magic’s commentary. He’d be perfect as late night host. #Sarcasm”

“Wow 25 and 5 in 30 min from a rookie? Richard Dumas continues to amaze me. His No. 21 will be hanging from the rafters at some point.”

“Big win! Heading back to Phoenix. No way we lose again on our home court! #StillBelieve #ComebackTime”

Game 6:

“Nothing like a game on a Sunday for a miracle comeback to continue! #StillBelieve”

“Down eight going into the 4th quarter? No problem- we’ve got Sir Charles and no one other than Jordan is capable of beating us.”

“Chicago’s only scored 9 points in this 4th quarter and the Suns are up two? All they have to do is guard him. No one else will beat us. #SomebodyUpThereIsOnOurSide”

This timeout is taking forever. How long does it take Jackson to tell everyone ‘go to MJ’? What’s everyone’s plans for Game 7? #InTheOldDeepFreeze”

“JOHN WHO? A 3?!?! #GiveUpTheTwoNotThree”

“Alright, it’s OK. Those 3.9 seconds are an eternity. Only down one. Barkley will win it.”

“OK stop showing the Paxson replay. No one will remember it in 3.9 seconds. It’ll just be another shot. #StillBelieve”

“KJ hits i....NOOOOOOOOO.”

“Well, it’s alright. We’ll most definitely be back the next two years. This team is just that good.”

Like I asked, how do you know you have a problem? The last 1,000 words should probably about sum it up.

You can reach Espo on Twitter and Facebook.