Since the turn of the millennium, the Phoenix Suns have earned eight playoff nods. Six of those saw the Suns face the San Antonio Spurs.
During the Seven Seconds or Less era from 2004-10, San Antonio ended Phoenix’s season three times.
Why would we want to relive those memories, which still taste mighty bitter in the Valley a decade or more later?
Because we can still make them a little bit sweeter.
On Thursday, Bickley & Marotta will reminisce about the heated battles against the Spurs with a packed lineup of guests.
At noon, three contestants will participate in an Arizona Sports Historial Roast of Phoenix’s hated rival from the Seven Seconds or Less era. Hosted by Dan Bickley, Bickley & Marotta will welcome Vince Marotta, Luke Lapinski and Jarrett Carlen to dish it out against the Spurs.
Specials guests scheduled around the roast include Mike D’Antoni, Rhett Reese, Al McCoy, Jon Bloom and Kellan Olson.
Bickley & Marotta’s Thursday schedule
10:30 a.m. – Former Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni
11:00 a.m. – Suns play-by-play and postgame show host Jon Bloom
11:15 a.m. – Screenwriter and Suns fan Rhett Reese
11:30 a.m. – Empire of the Suns podcast co-host and writer Kellan Olson
12 p.m. – Roast of the 2000s Spurs
12:30 p.m. – Voice of the Suns Al McCoy
The day will hopefully bring better memories than the following:
— Joe Johnson’s orbital bone fracture was bad luck that robbed the Suns of one of their best players in the 2005 Western Conference Finals.
— Steve Nash bleeding out of his busted nose in a 2007 Game 1 loss followed by the infamous Robert Horry hip-check of the point guard in Game 4, which led to pivotal suspensions of Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw the next outing during the 2007 conference semifinals.
— The Spurs made quick work of Phoenix’s 2007-08 team in the first round after the Suns shipped out Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal midseason, a move that GM Steve Kerr has since called a mistake.
Of course, there was redemption in 2010.
With Phoenix up 3-0 and finally about to break through, Nash again took a hit to the face and, with his eye swollen shut in Game 4, the two-time MVP led the Suns to a sweep en route to the Western Conference Finals.
Nash was on the floor of the shower, still clothed, crying after that one, which goes to show the emotional toll the Spurs took on the Suns.