In a couple years Suns fans might forget about Shaq and Steve Nash and head outdoors for their entertainment instead of to America West Arena.
Spurred on by fan comments at ESPN.com about the Shaq trade, I’ve decided to clarify something once and for all: GMs should look merely for production and value in trades; owners and business staff can look for big names and ticket sales.
Shaq will help keep the seats filled in Phoenix, for a while anyways, so the owner and marketing team should be happy about this absurd trade. Miamianos will probably not be drawn out to the arena now that Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks have arrived, so the Phoenix brass won that battle. But, talent almost always wins out in the end. In two years, when Miami, led by Dwayne Wade, a top draft pick or two, and either Shawn Marion or players using his cap number, is better than Phoenix, which will own the rights to an ageing Steve Nash and a decrepit Shaquille O’Neal, to go with an otherwise less and less talented team (the only Sun worthy of note who will likely be better than he is now is Amare and the team has consistently given away or sold its draft picks over the past few years), the fans will return to American Airlines Arena (or whatever it’s called then) and will likely begin to desert the Suns.
So, it looks to me like not only did the Heat win the production battle, as they should have aimed to do, but they’ll win the long-term PR battle as well.