Suns Off-season Thread

angelofthesouth

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So, everyone says Monty Williams needs a good Xs-and-Os coach, since he isn't one. I wonder which coaches (who are available this summer) fit that bill. Any well-known names?

Williams is no Cotton Fitzsimmons.
 

AzStevenCal

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So, everyone says Monty Williams needs a good Xs-and-Os coach, since he isn't one. I wonder which coaches (who are available this summer) fit that bill. Any well-known names?

Williams is no Cotton Fitzsimmons.
Not to speak ill of the deceased but Cotton was no Cotton Fitzsimmons either. It was an important time for us and Cotton said all the right things but I really don't get the "legend" of Cotton that is almost revered here.

He was a decent coach throughout his long career but his teams won at a 52% clip during the regular season and he only won 42% of his playoff games.

Whether it was with the Suns, Atlanta, Buffalo, KC or San Antonio I don't believe his teams ever went further than a conference finals loss and most of the time his team either failed to make the postseason or was outed in the first round.

I'm not suggesting he was a failure by any means it's just that he doesn't seem to be measured by the same standards all of our other coaches have been.
 

Mainstreet

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Not to speak ill of the deceased but Cotton was no Cotton Fitzsimmons either. It was an important time for us and Cotton said all the right things but I really don't get the "legend" of Cotton that is almost revered here.

He was a decent coach throughout his long career but his teams won at a 52% clip during the regular season and he only won 42% of his playoff games.

Whether it was with the Suns, Atlanta, Buffalo, KC or San Antonio I don't believe his teams ever went further than a conference finals loss and most of the time his team either failed to make the postseason or was outed in the first round.

I'm not suggesting he was a failure by any means it's just that he doesn't seem to be measured by the same standards all of our other coaches have been.

I'm probably not going to be able to explain it properly, but Cotton's personality and openness endeared me to the game. He treated everyone the same. I think his ability to relate to the fans made him special. This can't always be measured in wins and losses.

Cotton did have an NBA 832–775 coaching record and was NBA Coach of the Year twice.
 

AzStevenCal

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I'm probably not going to be able to explain it properly, but Cotton's personality and openness endeared me to the game. He treated everyone the same. I think his ability to relate to the fans made him special. This can't always be measured in wins and losses.

Cotton did have an NBA 832–775 coaching record and was NBA Coach of the Year twice.
I liked him a lot and for some of the same reasons. I just don't think he was all that special as an actual Coach. I think very highly of Monty, I'm not convinced he's anything special as a Coach either. But look at the difference in the way we talk about the two of them here.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Not to speak ill of the deceased but Cotton was no Cotton Fitzsimmons either. It was an important time for us and Cotton said all the right things but I really don't get the "legend" of Cotton that is almost revered here.

He was a decent coach throughout his long career but his teams won at a 52% clip during the regular season and he only won 42% of his playoff games.

Whether it was with the Suns, Atlanta, Buffalo, KC or San Antonio I don't believe his teams ever went further than a conference finals loss and most of the time his team either failed to make the postseason or was outed in the first round.

I'm not suggesting he was a failure by any means it's just that he doesn't seem to be measured by the same standards all of our other coaches have been.
Cotton was a great coach for a building/rebuilding team.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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I liked him a lot and for some of the same reasons. I just don't think he was all that special as an actual Coach. I think very highly of Monty, I'm not convinced he's anything special as a Coach either. But look at the difference in the way we talk about the two of them here.
I think the difference is likely due to proximity in time. 20 years from now if monty is here awhile and we have playoff success kids today will refer to monty in the same tones. Remember, we were all a lot younger in cottons years.
 

Mainstreet

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I liked him a lot and for some of the same reasons. I just don't think he was all that special as an actual Coach. I think very highly of Monty, I'm not convinced he's anything special as a Coach either. But look at the difference in the way we talk about the two of them here.

Cotton had a way of making almost everyone feel special and connected the fans to the team. I think this why Cotton is remembered so fondly.

When Suns fans booed when they drafted Dan Majerle, he told fans they would be sorry and sure enough they were. It's this connection to the fans that is remembered.

In those days fans could get close to coaches and players during training camp and draft events.
 

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When Suns fans booed when they drafted Dan Majerle, he told fans they would be sorry and sure enough they were. It's this connection to the fans that is remembered.
I was one of those booing (well, not in person, actually). I thought Majerle was a joke of a pick... and I was waaay wrong. It was rarely wise to second guess the Suns scouts during the Jerry C. era.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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I was one of those booing (well, not in person, actually). I thought Majerle was a joke of a pick... and I was waaay wrong. It was rarely wise to second guess the Suns scouts during the Jerry C. era.
Yup. I was bummed when we ended up with Marion instead of maggette. Maggette was good but he couldn’t match Marion’s career. Jerry also drafted Oliver Miller late, Michael Finley late (I was screaming in favor of that pick), Wesley person late, ced ceballos and Richard Dumas were late picks. It was really only the talent acquisition of bigs where they had missteps like trade for mustaff and drafting Malcom Mackey (I liked the selection at the time).
 

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Not to speak ill of the deceased but Cotton was no Cotton Fitzsimmons either. It was an important time for us and Cotton said all the right things but I really don't get the "legend" of Cotton that is almost revered here.

He was a decent coach throughout his long career but his teams won at a 52% clip during the regular season and he only won 42% of his playoff games.

Whether it was with the Suns, Atlanta, Buffalo, KC or San Antonio I don't believe his teams ever went further than a conference finals loss and most of the time his team either failed to make the postseason or was outed in the first round.

I'm not suggesting he was a failure by any means it's just that he doesn't seem to be measured by the same standards all of our other coaches have been.
You’re not alone. Thing I really give cotton credit for was putting us back on the map after the drug scandal, kicking the CRAP out of the 1990 Lakers and effectively ending Showtime as Riley left after our 4-1 demolition and knowing well enough in 1992 that “we need a Charles Barkley.”

Big things in suns history for sure, but legend-like praise I never quite got.
 

cheesebeef

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Yup. I was bummed when we ended up with Marion instead of maggette. Maggette was good but he couldn’t match Marion’s career. Jerry also drafted Oliver Miller late, Michael Finley late (I was screaming in favor of that pick), Wesley person late, ced ceballos and Richard Dumas were late picks. It was really only the talent acquisition of bigs where they had missteps like trade for mustaff and drafting Malcom Mackey (I liked the selection at the time).
Come on. Mustaf was a stone cold killer.
 

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I think Cotton is endeared so much because of what he did for the team in addition to coaching. He worked in the front office and was also a color commentator, with the latter making fans feel more connected with him. He was a good commentator as well also that had great chemistry with Al McCoy during one of the teams best eras, the Barkley years.

Not many coaches know when it's time to step aside also but Cotton did. Whether the Barkley Suns would have been more successful with Cotton on the bench vs Westphal is debatable but there aren't many who would do that after acquiring a superstar like Barkley in his prime.

I think there is sort of a Mark West effect also. By that is mean since he's been with the Suns organization for so long and wore so many different hats that the position he's most know for is overstated. I call it the Mark West effect because he was still with the team last I checked 2-3 years ago. If our Center gave us what West did back in the day we'd all be calling for an upgrade or the GM's head for running with him for so long.
 

angelofthesouth

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kicking the CRAP out of the 1990 Lakers and effectively ending Showtime as Riley left after our 4-1 demolition

Big things in suns history for sure, but legend-like praise I never quite got.
I can't know how many members were fans back then (it was three years too early for me); but I have always wanted to hear more detail about that 1990 series. I have never found much documentation on it, as with the 1976 and 1993 Finals trips (which both had books). How exactly did the Suns kick the crap out of the fakers? The only thing I can guess is that those Lakers were old and tired, and that the new Suns team absolutely ambushed them with its youth and energy.

Accomplishing anything feels so much better when there are no expectations placed on you. In the Suns' case, because their franchise had been ruined by scandal and they were given no regard. If expectations for you are very high, it may be logically impossible to exceed them, e.g. if people actually expect you to win a championship. To "exceed expectations," you'd have to break the Warriors' regular-season records, sweep all playoff opponents, and win every game by Dream Team I-like margins. If you win and the world had never been paying attention to you, there's no pressure, and you are more likely to think "it's great to be alive." But if I were the current Suns team, I probably wouldn't care about anything but redeeming my recent shame. Not the best time.

This is undoubtedly why I am interested in that upset and, more generally, the years between the scandal and Barkley; and why I suspect that in a way, it was the best possible time to be a Phoenix Sun.
 
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angelofthesouth

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I thought about the Mavericks: seemingly nobody has any regard for them, being too aware that they beat the Suns only because the Suns imploded; and nobody assumes that they'll do anything impressive later. Especially since the Warriors promptly beat them as thoroughly as the 1990 Suns beat the 1990 Lakers.

That could be a salutary thing for the Mavericks: it allows them to gain confidence without feeling the pressure of high expectations.

And the opposite: could that be what happened with DeAndre Ayton's performance? That he cracked under the pressure?
 

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I can't know how many members were fans back then (it was three years too early for me); but I have always wanted to hear more detail about that 1990 series. I have never found much documentation on it, as with the 1976 and 1993 Finals trips (which both had books). How exactly did the Suns kick the crap out of the fakers? The only thing I can guess is that those Lakers were old and tired, and that the new Suns team absolutely ambushed them with its youth and energy.

Accomplishing anything feels so much better when there are no expectations placed on you. In the Suns' case, because their franchise had been ruined by scandal and they were given no regard. If expectations for you are very high, it may be logically impossible to exceed them, e.g. if people actually expect you to win a championship. To "exceed expectations," you'd have to break the Warriors' regular-season records, sweep all playoff opponents, and win every game by Dream Team I-like margins. If you win and the world had never been paying attention to you, there's no pressure, and you are more likely to think "it's great to be alive." But if I were the current Suns team, I probably wouldn't care about anything but redeeming my recent shame. Not the best time.

This is undoubtedly why I am interested in that upset and, more generally, the years between the scandal and Barkley; and why I suspect that in a way, it was the best possible time to be a Phoenix Sun.
This is my favorite Suns team and also my brother’s. Other posters definitely put them up there. Maybe it’s that there have been a bunch of underachieving Suns rosters and this one overachieved? It felt like a new beginning and was a breath of fresh air after the scandals.

They were also the first to beat the Lakers, who had swept them the year before and eliminated them in six (over half) of the Suns playoff appearances. A couple times with Kareem, whom the Suns couldn’t draft after losing the coin flip. How they did it? They were good enough and they just played really hard. They weren’t scared in the Forum. And the Lakers were probably not expecting it.

As for Cotton, part of it is just he’s the Suns coach many of us would have most liked to see win. He felt local.
 
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