Ranking Steve Nash Among the Top 10 Players in Phoenix Suns History

Roberto Payne@@HouseofPayne555Contributor IAugust 28, 2012

Ranking Steve Nash Among the Top 10 Players in Phoenix Suns History

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    As you all know by now, Steve Nash is now a Los Angeles Laker. That means it's fair game to look at how he stacks up compared to other Phoenix greats.

    The unique thing with Nash is his impact can not be adequately measured solely by stats or the success of the team. He transcended those numbers with his ability to control the rock from start to finish and make everyone around him better. You just can't put that in a stat sheet.

    But does that make him a top Phoenix Sun player of all time? It certainly does.

    Read on to see where Steve Nash ranks among the top 10 players in franchise history and if he can top players like Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley and Walter Davis.

No. 10: Dan Majerle

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    Dan Majerle played eight of his 14 NBA years on the Phoenix Suns, including his five best scoring years.

    Majerle was known for his sweet shooting stroke and received one of the best nicknames in Phoenix Suns history, Thunder Dan.

    Apart from being in the top 25 of three-pointers made in NBA history, Majerle excelled as a multi-faceted player. He could bang for boards down low, dish out an assist and even play staunch defense.

    Majerle is now a member of the Suns' Ring of Honor and an assistant coach on the current Phoenix coaching staff under Alvin Gentry.

No. 9: Larry Nance

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    Larry Nance played his first six-and-a-half seasons with the Phoenix Suns and will forever be remembered as the winner of the first NBA Slam Dunk contest in 1984.

    Nance was known primarily as a dunker, but his all-around skills made him an All-Star in 1985. Nance is top 10 in Phoenix history in points, rebounds, blocks, steals, minutes played and field goals made.

No. 8: Amar'e Stoudemire

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    Along with Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire was a huge part of the team's success in the past decade.

    Stoudemire came straight out of high school to take the NBA by storm and lead the Suns for almost a decade.

    He's instantly connected to a memorable era of Suns basketball that included the "seven seconds or less offense" and a couple of deep playoff runs in Phoenix.

    Stoudemire's powerful dunks and mid-range jumper made him a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and a top scorer in the NBA.

    Amar'e's eight years with the franchise were widely successful, and he produced a ton of stats. Stoudemire is top 10 in franchise history in points, rebounds, blocks, minutes played, games played, field goals made and field goal percentage.

    In short, Amar'e Stoudemire was a fundamental part of the team's success in the 21st century.

No. 7: Dick Van Arsdale

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    Dick Van Arsdale is not one of the first names that comes to mind when thinking about the greatest players in Phoenix Suns history, but he should be.

    Van Arsdale was "The Original Sun" and made am impact on the team with his scoring, as he is fifth in Phoenix Suns history with 12,060 points.

    After his playing career, Van Arsdale went on to be Phoenix's general manager, head coach (briefly) and senior vice president of player personnel (the job he currently holds in the franchise).

    His work for the franchise resulted in his inclusion in the Phoenix Suns' Ring of Honor.

No. 6: Shawn Marion

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    Shawn "The Matrix" Marion is one of the most unorthodox players in NBA history, but worked his way in to the conversation for best Phoenix Suns of all time.

    Marion was the jack of all trades type of player who would do the dirty work for his team. He frequently played out of position at the power forward spot and excelled in both rebounding and scoring.

    Marion's versatility led to four All-Star seasons and even some MVP votes in 2005 and 2006.

    That versatility also ranked him top five in Suns history in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, three-pointers made, field goals made and minutes played.

No. 5: Alvan Adams

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    Quick, who's second in Phoenix Suns history in scoring? If you guessed Amar'e Stoudemire, Kevin Johnson or even Shawn Marion, you are wrong.

    The answer is Alvan Adams, who scored 13,910 points as a Phoenix Sun.

    Adams played his entire 13-year career in Phoenix and really established himself with his skill on the blocks. He finished top five in franchise history in points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists, field goals made and minutes played.

    In addition, Adams played in Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest games in NBA history.

No. 4: Charles Barkley

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    Charles Barkley is one of the best players in NBA history, let alone Phoenix Suns history, and made a forever lasting impact on the franchise.

    Barkley played a mere four seasons in the valley of the sun, but made huge strides on the team.

    His four seasons produced four All-Star appearances, an NBA MVP award, a trip to the NBA Finals and the best regular season record in franchise history (62-20).

    Barkley's rebounding and scoring prowess made him extremely difficult to gameplan against, and his swagger helped lift the team to new heights.

    It would have been interesting to see the stats Barkley could have put up had he been a Sun for the majority of his career. He probably would have been top five in almost every major statistical category.

No. 3: Walter Davis

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    Walter Davis is the most underrated Phoenix Sun of all time and a member of the Ring of Honor. He's often forgotten when mentioning the best Suns players, and it's a shame.

    Davis is the leading scorer in franchise history with 15,666 points, and he did that in only 11 seasons with the Suns. That in itself is remarkable.

    There are really no highlights of Davis available other than this block, but Davis was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1978 and a vital part of the franchise for over a decade.

    He finished his Suns career top five in points, assists, steals, field goals made and games played.

No. 2: Kevin Johnson

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    Kevin Johnson is one of, if not the most, liked player in franchise history and a member of the Ring of Honor.

    Johnson won Most Improved Player in his first full season with the Suns and never looked back from there. His tenacity and will to win fueled the team for 11-and-a-half seasons, leading to playoff berths in every season but his first with the team.

    His signature moment with the Suns came with his huge dunk on Hakeem Olajuwon in the 1994 playoffs.

    If not for the next guy on the list, Johnson would be considered the best point guard in franchise history, as he's top five in team history in points, assists, steals, field goals made, minutes played and games played.

No. 1: Steve Nash

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    Steve Nash is simply the best player to have ever played in a Phoenix Suns uniform. Period.

    It's so easy to forget how truly dominant Nash was in his tenure in Phoenix because he's never been a high-flying dunker or someone who puts up big scoring numbers.

    But that was the beauty of Steve Nash, he didn't need scoring to define him. Although, he showed the ability to score when called upon.

    Nash is the best passer in Phoenix Suns history and is already a top-five assists man in NBA history with 9,916 career assists. Not only did his passes lead to baskets for his teammates, they also led to big contracts for them.

    Not only was Nash a top-flight passer, he really became an all-around player throughout his career.

    Nash is top 10 in Phoenix history in points, assists, steals, games played, three-pointers made, field goals made and free-throw percentage.

    Toss in his two MVP seasons and numerous playoff runs with the Suns, and there should be no question about who is the greatest Phoenix Suns player of all time.