A Night at the Key
Well, I'm not going to be able to enjoy too many more of these before the Sonics move somewhere further than walking distance from The Painted Area's West Coast headquarters, so here we go:
Sonics 114, Suns 90, in pictures.
STAT (Standing Tall And Talented) Stoudemire takes it to the goal. He gives Collison a good shot here, but on this night, Nick (22/15) got the better of Amare (18/13) overall.
The "Key Arena Ballerina" does his thing. I'm just reporting the facts, people. I will note that this fellow was light on his feet, and received several high fives on his way off the court. Again, I'm just reporting the facts.
Loren is very proud of the T-shirt he grabbed away from a little kid. I gotta give him credit - he was patient and played the deflection well before pouncing on the loose ball... and stealing it away from the little kid.
No Nash + no Diaw + no Krazee-Eyez Kurt + LOTS of Pat Burke = what Marv calls "extended gar-BAGE time". In this photo, you may notice immortals such as Sean Marks, Mike Wilks and Jumaine Jones all on the floor.
I was very excited for the Sean Marks sighting UNTIL I realized that Jalen didn't even get into the game until about 2 minutes after him. That really hurt me.
KeyArena has a pretty unique atmosphere when the Suns are in town. Steve Nash took over the funding of B.C.'s province-wide youth basketball program after the previous benefactor, the Grizzlies, skipped town (courtesy of the gross general managerial incompetence of Stu Jackson, it should be noted).
Anyway, when the Suns visit Seattle, busloads of kids from the program and their families come down for the game, and the crowd ends up split pretty evenly betweem Suns fans and Sonics fans (which is not really saying much in this era of Sonics basketball, frankly).
Postgame, Nashy generally addresses his fellow British Columbians, as he did last night.
A whole lot of Canadians in the house. Nashy dished out some platitudinous advice for the youngsters before taking a little Q&A from the kids. He noted that he thought Dirk deserved the MVP, and also announced that he'd be expanding his program across Canada next year (big news for the scores of Painted Area readers in Halifax, I'm sure).
My favorite question was from a kid who stepped up to the mic and bellowed, "Last year, I asked you how it felt to be a hero to all Canadians, and this year I want to know how it feels now that you're going to be a THREE-TIME MVP!!!" He really put a lot into it - Nash complimented him and asked if he'd been rehearsing it. All in all, the MVP sure seemed like a good bloke.
Good night from Seattle, everybody.