The General Manager is one of the most important positions in the NBA because of their role in building the roster and handling personnel decisions for the team. So, imagine the dismay of Amin Elhassan when the Phoenix Suns had an odd way of deciding which candidate to hire as GM sometime in the past.
"Let me tell you something about Seabiscuit," said Elhassan in a recent episode of the Cinephobe podcast. "The Phoenix Suns fu**ing hired a general manager because he showed them Seabiscuit. Apparently, that was 'the dagger' in his interview. He showed them a clip from Seabiscuit. I remember them revealing this to us as a staff, and we were like, 'This dude is a fu**ing moron. Seabiscuit? Are you fu**ing kidding me?' That was the point in which I lost faith in everything."
Guess the GM
Elhassan and the other hosts didn't elaborate or discuss the matter further than what the analyst stated. He also avoided disclosing the identity of the general manager.
However, someone on Reddit quickly cross-referenced Elhassan's tenure in Phoenix, which ran from 2006 to 2012, and during that span, the organization hired for the GM position twice: Steve Kerr and Lance Blanks. Considering that Kerr was relatively successful during his time with the Suns, the person of interest is likely Blanks.
It seems that referencing Seabiscuit, the 2003 underdog film that garnered seven Academy Award nominations, didn't help Blanks other than in getting hired for the position in the 2010 offseason.
Phoenix's longest stretch without a playoff appearance began during Blanks' first season with the franchise. His Suns tenure is best remembered for floating between rebuilding and being competitive.
Everything came to a head for Blanks when he figured in an expletive-filled altercation with Jermaine O'Neal in January 2013.
A few months later, the retired shooting guard got the axe, ending his three-year term as GM.
As for the Suns, it wasn't until the 2020-21 season before they again set foot in the playoffs. It was certainly a dark chapter for the franchise, one that apparently started with a movie clip from Seabiscuit.