Steve Nash and 10 Players Who Deserve To Have Jerseys Retired by Phoenix Suns
There are only nine players in Phoenix Suns history to have their jersey retired. That short list includes names such as Charles Barkley, Walter Davis and Alvan Adams.
All are certainly worthy of the honor, but who else is?
As one of the most successful franchises in NBA history, the Phoenix Suns and their fans have seen their fair share of Hall of Famers, MVP's and All-Stars.
But who has done enough to have their name and number lifted to the rafters of the U.S. Airways Center?
Join B/R as we take a look at 10 players who deserve to have their jersey retired by the Phoenix Suns, now or later.
Shawn Marion (No. 31)
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Regardless, from 1999 to 2008 Marion flew under the radar as one of the league's most underrated players.
Marion averaged 17.9 PPG and 9.9 RPG during his nine years in Phoenix, becoming the all-time defensive rebound leader in franchise history (4,927).
Marion racked up a total of 894 blocks in purple and orange, just 45 short of Larry Nance's franchise record.
Marion's steal total with the Suns stands at 1,245, 44 shy of Alvin Adams franchise best 1,289.
Marion finished his Suns career as the franchise's fourth leading scorer with 12,134 points scored.
Shawn Marion was also a key player on many of Mike D'Antoni's uptempo teams, providing a defensive presence on a team that lacked much of it.
Jason Kidd (No. 32)
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Many people forget that Jason Kidd actually played five seasons in Phoenix.
Not just that but Kidd led the Suns to the playoffs in every season with the team from 1996-2001, averaging a double-double in both the 1999 and 2001 postseason.
Kidd averaged 14.3 PPG and 9.8 APG during his time with the team, and ranks fifth all-time in most franchise assists with 3,011.
The Jason Kidd we know today, the one who ranks second all-time in assists, came of age with the Suns.
Leandro Barbosa (No. 10)
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Known in Phoenix as "The Brazilian Blur," Leandro Barbosa brought a different style off of the Suns bench for seven seasons.
Barbosa knocked in a total of 709 three-pointers during his Suns career, making him the third all-time leader in franchise history, he trails only Steve Nash and Dan Majerle.
Barbosa also poured in 5,874 points in his seven years as a Suns sixth man. Barbosa won the NBA's Sixth Man award in 2007, becoming just the fourth Suns player in history to achieve the title.
That season Barbosa averaged a stunning 18.1 PPG and 4.0 APG off the bench, helping the Suns to a 61-21 regular season record.
Jeff Hornacek (No. 14)
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Hornacek played six superb seasons with the Suns from 1986 until 1992.
Hornacek averaged 15.5 PPG and 6.5 APG with Phoenix and experienced his best basketball in the 1992 playoffs, when he averaged 20.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 5.3 APG.
Hornacek was traded the very next season to Philadelphia as part of the Charles Barkley deal.
The very next season the Suns reached the NBA Finals, likely clouding Hornacek's legacy with the team.
Hornacek ranks fifth all time in Suns history in free throw percentage (85.4 percent).
Steve Nash (No. 13)
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No surprise here. Steve Nash has been the heart and soul of the franchise for the past seven seasons.
Nash won two consecutive league MVP awards in 2005 and 2006. Nash has led the Suns to two 60-plus win seasons and three Western Conference Finals appearances.
The ringless warrior has been on the wrong end of hardship ever since he returned, in 2004, to the team that first drafted him back in 1996.
He'll likely be remembered as the greatest player to never even taste the NBA Finals, but Nash's teams were never more than a suspension or bloody nose away from winning it all.
Larry Nance (No. 22)
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Larry Nance was drafted by Phoenix in 1981 and improved every season with the team before being traded to Cleveland in 1988.
Nance averaged more than 16 PPG and 8 RPG every season with the Suns following his rookie year.
The 6'10" Nance never shot less than 52 percent from the field either (third all time in franchise history, 56.1 percent).
He is the franchise's all-time leader in blocked shots as well, with 939.
Larry Nance is probably better known for winning the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1984, beating out Julius Erving's dunk from the free throw line.
Amar'e Stoudemire (No. 1)
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Amar'e Stoudemire won the NBA's Rookie of the Year award with the Phoenix Suns in 2003 and never looked back.
Stoudemire was selected to five All-Star games during that time as well.
The player they call STAT (Standing Tall and Talented), scored over 11,000 points and reeled in over 4,600 rebounds during his time with the team.
Stoudemire only trails Suns all-time leading scorer Walter Davis (15,666) by 4,631 points. Two more seasons in the desert, and Stoudemire would likely stand alone in that category.
The Nash and Stoudemire high pick and roll was one of the most dynamic offensive sights over the past six seasons in the NBA, producing results and images few Suns fans will forget.
Eddie Johnson (No. 8)
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Eddie Johnson played three short seasons in Phoenix, from 1987-1990.
During that time Johnson averaged more than 18 PPG and shot nearly 88 percent from the foul line.
However, Johnson will always be remembered for scoring the most career points of any player never to make the All-Star team.
Johnson also played in a total of 28 playoff games with the Suns in 1989 and 1990. He averaged slightly over 15 PPG and 5.5 RPG in the postseason for Phoenix.
Raja Bell (No. 19)
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Very few players in Phoenix Suns history competed with as much grit and determination as Raja Bell.
The defensive-minded sharpshooter blossomed with the Suns after he was signed in 2005.
Bell played just three-and-a-half seasons with Phoenix, but played in 33 playoff games, knocking in 73 3-pointers in those games.
Bell is also the fifth leading three-point shot maker in franchise history with 578, including 205 during the 2006-2007 regular season.
Bell's clutch play during the 2006 playoffs helped the Suns to the Western Conference Finals without superstar forward Amar'e Stoudemire.
Mark West (No. 41)
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Mark West played six-and-a-half seasons with the Suns from 1988-1994.
West arrived via a trade with Cleveland in 1988, the same one that sent Larry Nance to the Cavaliers.
Mark West never put up huge numbers with Phoenix, but does own the franchise's best field goal percentage (61.3 percent)
The 6'10" forward ranks second all time in franchise blocked shots (898), behind only Nance.
West went to the postseason in every full season with the Suns, averaging a double-double in 1990.
West also helped the Suns reach the finals in 1993, averaging 19.5 minutes per game for Phoenix that postseason.
Patrick Clarke is a Featured Columnist for the Phoenix Suns and a student at Towson University.