Phoenix Suns All-Time Team
When will the sun set on this season for the Phoenix Suns? One can only wonder.
The Suns have had maybe the cruelest fate of any franchise in NBA History (except possibly Cleveland in a couple months).
With the loss of the coin toss for the rights to Lew Alcindor from the Milwaukee Bucks, and the wrongful suspensions of Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw in the 2007 Playoffs, Phoenix has had its share of pain.
Here is some pleasure however. I present to you their greatest players of all-time.
These guys made contributions, but just couldn't make the roster:
Jason Kidd: Only played four-and-a-half years in Phoenix, but piled triple-doubles in with his All-Star appearances.
Dan Majerle: "Thunder Dan" played with emotion and furry to go along with his deadly three-pointers.
Paul Silas: Great competitor who had a nose for the ball.
Stephon Marbury: Not a favorite of everyone, but he did put up substantial statistics and a memorable half court banker to beat the Spurs in the Playoffs.
Charlie Scott: A forgotten scorer who led the team in scoring three seasons.
12. Larry Nance
Drafted by Phoenix with the 20th pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, Nance won the NBA's initial slam dunk contest over Julius Erving.
Surprisingly, he actually had a solid career in Phoenix before his trade to Cleveland for Kevin Johnson. He spent 6.5 seasons in Phoenix including '86-87, where he averaged 22.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2 blocks.
11. Connie Hawkins
"The Hawk" blew up in his first season with the Suns, averaging a double-double of 24.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
He would stay pretty consistent with those numbers over his next three seasons with the club and gave exciting plays similar to the Iceman, George Gervin.
10. Tom Chambers
TC had some hops! Just ask Mark Jackson.
Tom Chambers, the former All-Star game MVP, had a great 16 years in the league that stood out most with the Suns.
He was among the leaders of the team that was able to upset the Lakers in the 1990 NBA Playoffs. He was a scoring machine his first two seasons with the Suns, and was a fixture off their bench in the 1993 Finals season.
9. Dick Van Arsdale
A member of the original Phoenix suns squad, Dick played his first three years in New York before becoming a Sun.
During his first four years in Phoenix, he averaged just a shade over 20 points per game. He was the consistent floor member leading Phoenix as they settled in on the hardwood.
His nine years as a Sun placed him high among the people of the city.
8. Paul Westphal
The five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA blossomed when entering the Valley of the Sun.
He teamed with Alvan Adams to lead the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1976. He upped his scoring average to 20 points per game and played quick "D" that season averaging 2.6 steals per game.
7. Shawn Marion
The Former Runnin' Rebel, Shawn Marion was the Mr. All-Around player of the past decade.
He could score, rebound, steal and most importantly, guard the other teams best player on the court.
His time outside of Phoenix has overshadowed the work he put in while in Phoenix. But make no mistake, he was a large part of the runnin' Suns before being traded.
6. Alvan Adams
The other member that led the Suns to the NBA Finals, Adams played his entire 13 year career in Phoenix.
The '75-76 Rookie of the Year steadily had his numbers decrease every year of his career, but was still consistent in getting points, rebounds and assists every year. His consistency helped make John MacLeod's job a little easier.
5. Walter Davis
"Scoring Machine" could be a name fitting of Walter Davis. He was a scoring machine throughout his time in Phoenix.
The former Tar Heel who spent 11 years with the Suns was the '77-78 Rookie of the Year. He formed the trio with Westphal, and Adams that were able to challenge in the Western Conference every season.
A clutch jumper or two from him wouldn't be surprising as well.
4. Amare Stoudemire
Amare Stoudemire began his career by becoming the third Sun to win Rookie of the Year.
He followed that allure by becoming the newest rising star in the league along with Yao Ming in his sophomore campaign. He would end up becoming injured and requiring micro fracture surgery to his knee.
It had been known to be a career killer, but Amare was able to come back and play as good as ever. He now stands back atop the hill as one of the best players in the league, as is evident by his starting center selection in the All-Star Game this past season.
He is an MVP caliber talent and just might win the award one of these days.
3. Kevin Johnson
Many remember Kevin Johnson more for this thunderous jam over Hakeem Olajuwon than for his All-Star caliber career.
He cannot be judged just on his statistics, but on his ability to be a positive, steady influence on a club.
His career was in limbo as he was traded after only half a season in Cleveland and found himself in Phoenix. From there, he took off as he won Most Improved Player in his second season.
He would to continue to improve making three All-Star appearances and five All-NBA teams. His impact on helping the Suns make the 1993 NBA Finals is his most rewarding work in the end of all of his accomplishments.
2. Steve Nash
The 15th overall pick of the deep 1996 NBA Draft from Canada, was a relative unknown coming out of Santa Clara.
He didn't have much of a chance to expand his career originally in Phoenix behind Kevin Johnson. This led to a relocation to Dallas where he would become an All-Star and show the world his full abilities.
As a surprise to many, Mark Cuban let this crafty point guard go and the Suns capitalized. Back in Phoenix, he reestablished the Suns from an under-performing squad with Stephon Marbury, to a new powerhouse in the league.
His greatness cannot be seen merely in his two MVP's or his great statistics he routine puts up every year. His proof of greatness can be seen in how he continually makes the players around him that much better.
Grant Hill, Jared Dudley, Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and many others can attest to his ability to improve their games.
1. Charles Barkley
Sir Charles, the Round Mound of Rebound, whatever you call him, it should end in the best Sun of all-time.
Charles Barkley is a player and person unlike any other. He not only changed the Suns into a winner, but he changed the landscape and culture of the Phoenix community after leaving Philadelphia.
The 1993 season was his, except for that guy Michael Jordan, of course. He won MVP, led to his team to the best regular season record and forced a tough six game Finals against the Bulls.
His stay was too short in Phoenix, but his play was still vibrant and tough in the short time span he spent playing for the Suns. A highly overlooked 6'5" player, he played bigger than any scale measurable.