1968 – Future Suns forward Connie Hawkins leads the Pittsburgh Pipers to their first and only ABA championship (while on the subject of the ABA, check out Terry Pluto’s Loose Balls, an exciting and thorough account of the ABA’s entire run). 7 years later Hawkins lost a one-on-one matchup against Paul Simon…yes that Paul Simon. Losing to Art Garfunkel would have been somewhat excusable, but when Paul Simon is taking you to the rack? That’s when you hang up the ol’ Keds.
1994 – Chris Webber wins the Rookie of the Year award for Golden State. ’94 represented Webber’s lone season in Golden State after a fall-out with coach Don Nelson sent him packing to Washington. I imagine the real issue though was that his rookie salary, even with the ROY award bonus, wasn’t quite what he was making at Michigan from booster Ed Martin. Interesting side note: The Warriors picked up Tom Gugliotta in the trade, a player who would later suffer a seizure while with the Suns.
1994– Charles Barkley scores 56 points to lead the Suns over the aforementioned Webber’s Warriors in a 140-133 series clinching first round contest. If you hadn’t already guessed, the entire point of this post was to show the video of Barkley’s phenomenal performance:
Pretty amazing stuff from 15 years ago today. And no, I’m not coping well with the Suns not in the playoffs.
2009 – While playing NBA Live 2009 as the Cavs and wondering what the hell their mascot is, I use the google machine to discover it is a dog. And the dog is named “Moondog”. If that alone doesn’t make you smile, try this:
Smiling yet? Thought so. On the strength of Moondog’s name and generally adorable nature I now will root for Cleveland to win the NBA title. In addition, Moondog is now my 2nd favorite mascot, trailing only beloved Carolina Panther mascot, and punt downing Santa, Sir Purr.
Enjoy your Monday’s everyone.