Suns Retorter: Phoenix's Own Postseason Awards
Postseason awards are being given away in the NBA like Oprah used to give away cars. “You get an award and you get an award and you get an award!’
While every outlet, writer and media member is bestowing the great honor of their praise on players around the league, myself and Suns.com figured it was time to ensure the voice of the Phoenix fan was heard.
This isn’t your father’s awards, though, mostly because when your father was your age the internet probably didn’t even exist so there was no need for this type of thing and there was only so much space in the newspaper. Since we’re living in a digital age and the information superhighway -- we still call the internet that, right? -- has as many lanes as we want, why not hand out Suns End of the Season awards based on basketball movies?
Up first, the Finding Forester Award.
If you’re like me the only thing you remember about this movie is when James Bond, a.k.a. Sean Connery, utters the phrase ‘You’re the man now, dog” midway through the film.
Is there a phrase that describes Goran Dragic’s season better than that? He went from a mid-tier guard in the eyes of many in the league to on the verge of being a star. He became ‘the man’ in Phoenix and even earned a real award in the NBA’s KIA Most Improved Player award and – almost as equally impressive – earned the praise of his former mentor.
“Goran’s awesome,” Nash told Grantland.com. “He’s a great kid. Competitive, athletic, he’s a really good player. That’s been one of the things that’s been fun for me just to watch him kick ass. You feel like you’re watching a little brother in a way. He’s kind of put himself right there in the conversation as one of the elite point guards in the league.”
The Cliff’s Notes version of that: “You’re the man now, dog.”
The Scott Howard, Teen Wolf Award
For those of you who think of MTV when you hear the phrase Teen Wolf, you’re wrong. So wrong it hurts.
Teen Wolf is first and foremost a 1980’s classic comedy starring Michael J. Fox as scrawny Scott Howard who finds out his family is part werewolf. When Howard transforms into Teen Wolf, he goes from little-used bench player to an electrifying contributor who brings down the house with his dunks.
Kind of sounds familiar, doesn’t it Suns fans?
That’s right, the award goes to none other than Gerald Green, who transformed himself from a journeyman stuck on the bench in Indiana to a beloved player who showed his immense talent and versatility for the Suns.
Primarily known as only a dunk artist in his first six stops in the NBA, Green redefined himself as a member of the Suns. He showed off a propensity to hit big shots -- including game winners -- and showed off his range by hitting three pointers in quantities so large you’d think they sold them at a big box store.
His jump in statistics saw him more than double his point total and raise his shooting percentage more than 10 percentage points. It was good enough to earn him a fourth-place finish in the league’s Most Improved Award voting and also had people checking to see whether he had started to grow fangs and fur.
The Space Jam Award
There is no one more fitting to win this than Channing Frye. While the stars of Space Jam had their abilities taken away from them by aliens, Frye had his taken from him due to a health scare.
Over a year after being sidelined by a cardiomyopathy, the center triumphantly returned and played as well as ever. With a newfound outlook on life and a childlike enjoyment of the game, Frye put up numbers better than his career averages and on par with the previous season in which he played.
The movie may have been feel-good from a Hollywood perspective, but compared to Frye’s real life tale it wasn’t even in the same league.
The Jackie Moon Memorial Award
If any fictitious character in a basketball movie was ever the epitome of entertainment, it was Jackie Moon in Semi-Pro. His outlandish in-game stunts made his fictitious ABA team, the Flint Tropics, the talk of the town.
While I was going to give this award to the entire Suns roster, one moment probably provided more entertainment in arena and online than any other. In true Moon fashion, this award goes to an in-game contest that took place during a timeout.
At the beginning of April Suns fan Tim Boven stepped to half court for the Casino Arizona Lucky 7’s Shootout. After his shot he walked away with $77,777, some pretty amazing memories and the honor of being our Jackie Moon Memorial Award winner.