PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns fans across Arizona are forking out crazy amounts of cash at a chance to see the team make history in the running for a first-ever championship title for the franchise.
Alan Schrey is a fan who’s been following the team since they first started in the Valley decades ago. And at Schrey's house, there are quite a few things you don’t come across very often around Phoenix.
For starters, he's a true Arizona native. “I grew up in the Valley, been here all my life," Schrey said.
And there are his decades of following the Suns.
“In 7th or 8th grade, and this was the second year of the Suns existence and, I remember taking my pocket transistor radio for school," he said. "I snuck it in, and asked the teacher to go use the restroom at the time they were going to do the coin flip for Lew Alcindor."
Schrey recalled the 1969 NBA Draft where Phoenix lost a coin toss. The move was followed by losing first-round draft pick Lew Alcindor to the Milwaukee Bucks. Alcindor was later renamed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar ended up winning the Milwaukee Bucks its one and only Championship. “So, that was my first heartbreak of the Phoenix Suns," Schrey said.
But perhaps the rarest item at this long-time Suns fan’s home is pretty ordinary - an old piece of paper.
ON YOUTUBE: Watch the full story of Schrey's fandom
“This is the ticket stub," he said. “Yeah, I don’t know maybe I thought this would be the only time I went to a Finals game and it was the Bulls and Michael Jordan.”
And Schrey only spent $44 for that hot seat at then-called America West Arena. He caught a 1993 Finals game featuring the Suns and the Bulls in person and saved the stub for decades.
“$44 dollars doesn’t even seem that expensive back then," Schrey said. "You look at the prices now, cheapest seats going for $600.”
While Schrey may not choose to fork out the cash for a Finals game this time around, he’s hoping for one more rare occurrence so far, for Suns fans and the team.
"It would be great," he said. "Nothing would make my day more than to see the Suns finally win one.”
It's a moment and top title the Suns franchise is working overtime to achieve.
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