As someone who grew up a Suns fan, I have great appreciation and respect for the unwavering loyalty this community possesses for its first professional sports team. With that loyalty comes a fair expectation that the Suns compete at a high level on a regular basis, while representing our city with the utmost integrity. Candidly, we have not lived up to either of those expectations in the past two seasons.
One thing I have learned through both business successes and setbacks, is that victory is impossible without a culture of accountability, respect and trust. As a team woven into the city’s fabric, those principles must serve as a foundation for what our team, organization and brand stand for. All employees of our organization, including the players, will be held to those standards.
I have also learned that in order to achieve success, you must take risks along the way. In time, certain risks will ultimately look like mistakes. It didn’t take long into my tenure as an NBA owner to understand that basketball decisions are not easy to make. It is my responsibility to hire the right personnel to make those decisions, and also to provide the financial resources and supportive environment to facilitate the success of our team. Our basketball decisions rest with Ryan McDonough, who I have full confidence in. Not every decision will be the right one, but he will continue to build our team around the young, talented players acquired through the draft and opportunistically in free agency. The best team in the NBA right now is a perfect example of that model.
That said, we will likely miss the NBA Playoffs for a sixth straight season this April. Many of you are disappointed in that lack of success, and for good reason. I can assure you that no one is more disappointed than I am, nor does anyone accept more of the blame. It’s important you know that we will not rest until we are competing at the highest level once again. In fact, we have swung for the fences once in each of the last two free agency periods, with my full support. While we have come up short, we have not compromised our goal of building long-term success with our young talent. Often that process takes more time, yet the rewards are that much sweeter and more enduring.
The journey back to the top certainly won’t be easy. It will come with its victorious moments and its frustrating ones. But it will come, just as it did shortly after I acquired the team, where we rebuilt from a 29-win season in 2003/04. Please know, that above all else, you have my word that we will do things the right way, and you and your family will be proud to be Suns fans.
It’s why We Are PHX.