The Buc

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Maybe Jason Witten Jersey , just maybe, the worst is behind the Phoenix Suns.

Their 50th anniversary season was awful, even worse than the two that came before.

For the eighth season in a row, the Suns won’t make the playoffs. The win totals the past three seasons: 23, 24 and – this year 21. That 21-61 mark is the worst since Phoenix went 16-66 in its inaugural 1968-69 season.

The season devolved in the final months, with injuries depleting the already exceedingly young roster, leaving a contingent of G League transfers to fill out the lineup in the final days. The Suns lost a franchise-record 15 straight in one stretch.

Now, everyone involved is insisting Josh Rosen Youth Jersey , enough is enough.

”I’m done with not making the playoffs,” rising star Devin Booker said as the players cleaned out their lockers and conducted exit interviews Wednesday. ”I’m serious. This is probably my last year ever not making the playoffs. If that’s putting pressure on myself, I’m going to take this summer and work that hard so that it doesn’t happen again.”

His goal is ”turning the franchise around and getting it back how it used to be.”

8”You watch the highlights of Barkley, Nash and them and how alive the arena was,” Booker said. ”So one of my goals is to get it back that way.”

Booker, T.J. Warren and rookie Josh Jackson form the core of the young talent the Suns have accumulated. Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss could be part of it, too, although their development has been uneven.

But Phoenix needs experienced players DJ Moore Jersey , and not just old guys to cheer on from the sidelines.

”The voice in the locker room or the voice when they’re teaching carries a lot more weight when the person is contributing,” interim coach Jay Triano said, ”not just there as a teacher. … They need those guys on the court to follow.”

General manager Ryan McDonough agrees the time is come to ratchet up investment. To begin with, Phoenix has the most ping pong balls in the May 15 lottery and a chance at the No. 1 overall pick. At worst, the Suns will draft No. 4. They will have one, and maybe two, more first-round picks.

”We’ll be one of five or six teams with more than $10 million in cap space,” McDonough said Cheap Christian Kirk Jersey , ”and I think we have the ability to create significantly more if we want it.”

So the assets are there if they can be translated into needed players, and not teenagers, except that early first-round pick.

Three years of concentrating on acquiring this young talent is long enough, McDonough said.

”If you go beyond that I think the losing starts to set in and the guys start to become accustomed to that and the bar is lower,” he said. ”Next year we’re going to try to raise the bar. We’re going to try to raise our standards. We won’t be as young. We won’t have nearly as many young players as we had last year.”

A couple of things to consider after the Suns’ miserable season.

COACH SEARCH: McDonough said the search will begin immediately for a head coach with a list of five to 10 candidates in mind.

Triano would like the job. He took over after Earl Watson was fired just three games into the season.

McDonough said he would like to have a coach in place before the draft combine and lottery in mid-May.

BOOKER’S CONTRACT: The Suns would like to have Booker sign a maximum contract extension in the offseason and he’s open to the idea.

Triano knows that Booker is tired of losing and believes things will get better for his budding star with more experienced talent around him.

”He looks around the locker room and sees what it is and he knows that it’s time,” Triano said. ”I think the growth that he’s gone through individually as a leader and the capability he’s been able to show as a scorer has set the tone to make this an attractive place and to have him be the focal part of that. People around the league want to play with Devin Booker.”

KNIGHT IN WAITING: One of the biggest needs for Arizona is at point guard, and they’ve had one watching from the sidelines all season.

Brandon Knight, left over from the old days of three point guards with Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas Andy Dalton Jersey , missed the entire season with a torn ACL. Once stuck at the end of the bench with no playing time when he was able to go, he’s being talked about as the starter alongside Booker next year.

”As a competitor, as a winner, I just love to play the game,” Knight said. ”I had the game taken away from me by the injuries and due to other things. … I’m just trying to help the Suns in any way I can.”

The Latest on Milwaukee police releasing body-camera footage showing the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

The president of the NAACP in Milwaukee says he doesn’t see anything in a newly released police body-camera video that would warrant officers using a stun gun on Bucks guard Sterling Brown.

Fred Royal says he thinks the officer who interacted with Brown should have done a better job of explaining the reason why he was questioning him.

Royal says he finds it ”disturbing that an officer would incite an argument over a parking citation.”

The January incident started with an officer approaching Brown for double parking in a handicap spot at a Walgreens lot.

The group Black Leaders Organizing for Communities said the video ”is yet another example of police using excessive force with Black people in situations that do not call for it.”

6:40 p.m.

The Milwaukee Bucks say they are standing with guard Sterling Brown.

The team issued a statement Wednesday after Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized for how his department handled the January arrest of Brown after an interaction over a parking violation.

The Bucks say Brown has the team’s ”full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.”

Officers used a stun gun on Brown after encountering him in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was not charged.

The Bucks say Brown’s experience ”isn’t an isolated case” and that such incidents ”remind us of the injustices that persist.”

6:10 p.m.

Video released Wednesday shows an interaction between Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown and four police officers during a parking violation quickly escalated when an officer asked the basketball guard to take his hands out of his pockets.

Moments later, four officers swarmed Brown and began yelling for a stun gun to be deployed. Brown is on the ground and barely visible in the footage. He can be heard groaning in pain.

Police released footage from an officer’s body camera showing the Jan. 26 incident that started with an officer approaching Brown for double parking in a handicap spot at a Walgreens lot. The conversation between the officer and Brown immediately becomes tense when the officer asks for his driver’s license. The officer tells Brown to back up and Brown says, ”For what? I ain’t did nothing.”

The first officer called for assistance and more than three squads arrived.

This update has been corrected to show that the arrest occurred Jan. 26, not Jan. 2.

5:48 p.m.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown says his experience with Milwaukee police was wrong and ”shouldn’t happen to anybody.”

Brown released a statement Wednesday after Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized for how his department handled the January arrest of Brown.

Brown says what should have been ”a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation Calvin Ridley Youth Jersey , followed by the unlawful use of physical force.”

He says, ”Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community.”

Officers used a stun gun on Brown after coming across the Bucks player in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was not charged.

Brown says he’s planning to sue the Milwaukee Police Department.

5:20 p.m.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales is apologizing for how his department handled the January arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown.

Brown was arrested about 2 a.m. Jan. 26 in a Walgreens parking lot by officers who used a stun gun. Officers had been checking on a vehicle parked across two handicap spaces. Brown was not charged.

Morales says officers ”acted inappropriately” and that those officers had recently been disciplined. He says he’s ”sorry this incident escalated to this level.”

Morales’ statement came as the department was about to release body-camera footage of the arrest.

3:52 p.m.

Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage from the officers who used a stun gun on Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.

The release Wednesday evening comes as city officials who’ve viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers conducted themselves. Even leaders of the police department have hinted the video may make them look bad.

Brown was arrested in a Walgreens parking lot about 2 a.m. Jan. 26. Officers had been checking on a vehicle parked across two handicap spaces. Brown was not charged.

Police have shown the body-camera footage to some local officials, including a closed session of a Common Council committee.

The Bucks signed the 6-foot-6 guard from SMU last summer in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.


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