- Phoenix Suns
color1 = #FF8800
color2 = #423189
name = Phoenix Suns
imagesize = 200px
conference = Western Conference
division = Pacific Division
founded = 1968
history = Phoenix Suns 1968-present
US Airways Center
colors = Purple, Orange, White, and Gray
color box|#423189 color box|#FF8800 color box|white color box|gray
General Manager =
affiliate WNBA =
league_champs = 0
conf_champs = 2 (1976, 1993)
div_champs = 6 (1981, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2007)
web = suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional
basketballteam based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association(NBA). Their home arena is the US Airways Centerin downtown Phoenix.
The Suns have been generally successful since they began play as an
expansion teamin 1968. In forty years of play they have posted seventeen fifty-win seasons, and made eight trips to the Western Conference Finals, advancing to the NBA Finalsin 1976 and 1993. Despite their successes they have yet to win an NBA title.
The early years: a Tucson connection
January 22, 1968, the NBA awarded expansion franchises to an ownership group from Phoenix and one from Milwaukee.The primary investors in the Phoenix franchise at its inception had close ties to Tucson, Arizona's second largest city. They were:
Richard L. Bloch, investment broker/real estate developer and former Tucson resident (no relation to the Richard Blochwho was the co-founder of tax preparation provider H&R Block).
Karl Eller, owner of a major outdoor advertising company and one of the Phoenix area's most influential business leaders at that time. He was a former football player for The University of Arizona;
Donald Pitt, a Tucson-based attorney;
Don Diamond, Tucson-based real estate investor who eventually replaced Eller on the ownership managing team.
All four men were alumni of
The University of Arizona. According to the history section of the Suns website, other investors in the Suns included Block's entertainment law firm Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, along with several of their prominent entertainer clients, including Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, Bobbie Gentry, Ed Amesand others.The original logo was designed by Stanley Fabe, owner of a Tucson printing company, for $200. [cite web | title = The Suns Rise in Phoenix | work = Suns.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/history/68_69recap.html | accessdate = 2007-04-09 Origin of the Logo] The new Suns ownership group hired former Chicago Bullsexecutive Jerry Colangeloto be general manager (he was 28 years of age when he took the position). The Suns began their time in Phoenix at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Colangelo in turn hired Johnny "Red" Kerr (as of this writing a broadcaster with the Bulls) to be the first head coach of the Suns. The Suns finished their first season with a humiliating 16-66 record. Kerr was forced to resign midway through the 1969-70 season, and Colangelo himself coached a few games. Cotton Fitzsimmonsreplaced Colangelo as Suns coach for the 1970-71 season. He took the team to their first winning season, with a final record of 48-34.
Fitzsimmons would return to the head coaching job in the late 1980s; he would go on to be greatly loved by Suns fans, wildly popular (and successful) as a coach, broadcaster and executive with the Suns organization.
In the 1970s the Suns experienced mild success, combining the talents of such players as
Dick Van Arsdale("The Original Sun"), his twin brother Tom Van Arsdale, Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins, Leonard "Truck" Robinson, Alvan Adams, and center Neal Walk. In 1976, the year the movie " Rocky" was released, the Suns proved to be a real-life basketballversion of Rocky. They finished the season with 42 wins and 40 losses, but shockingly they beat the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriorsin the playoffs and went on to play the Boston Celticsin the NBA Finals, giving the Celtics a tough battle before falling in 6 games. Game 5 was a triple-overtime classic that is considered by many to be the greatest game in NBA history, with Suns forward Gar Heardhitting a buzzer beating rainbow jump shot ("The Shot") to send the contest into the third overtime at Boston Garden. [cite web | title = The Longest Day | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/encyclopedia/finals/game5_1976.html | accessdate = 2007-04-09 Game 5 of 1976 NBA Finals]
Currently, the Suns franchise owns the fourth-best all-time winning percentage among NBA teams (55.8 percent; all-time win-loss record listed below). They trail only the
Los Angeles Lakers(.613), San Antonio Spurs(.595; not counting their win-loss percentage in the original ABA), and the Boston Celtics(.587) in win-loss percentage. The Suns are also the winningest franchise without an NBA championship, despite their two Finals appearances.
Drug scandal; Colangelo takes control
In the late '70s and early '80s, the Suns enjoyed several successful seasons, making the playoffs for 8 seasons in a row. Problems arose however, on and off court, in the mid '80s. In 1987 the
Maricopa CountyAttorney's Office indicted 13 people on drug-related charges, three of whom were active Suns players (James Edwards, Jay Humphriesand Grant Gondrezick). These indictments were partially based on testimony from star player Walter Davis, who was given immunity. No defendants ever went to trial: two of the players went into a prosecution diversion program, while another received probation. Nevertheless, the scandal, although now perceived in many respects to be a witchhunt, tarnished the reputation of the franchise both nationally and within the community. The scandal did provide an opening for general manager Jerry Colangeloto lead a group that bought the team from its owners for $44 million, a record at that time.
With a drug scandal and the loss of promising young center
Nick Vanos, who was killed in the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255after taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the franchise was in turmoil on and off the court. The Suns' luck began to turn around in 1987, however, with the acquisition from the Cleveland Cavaliersof Kevin Johnson, Mark West, and Tyrone Corbinfor popular power forward Larry Nance. In 1988, Tom Chamberscame over from the Seattle SuperSonicsas the first unrestricted free agent in NBA history, Jeff Hornaceka 1986 second round pick continued to develop, "Thunder" Dan Majerlewas drafted with the 14th pick in the draft, which they obtained from Cleveland in the Kevin Johnson trade, and the team began a 13-year playoff streak. Kurt Rambiswas added from the Charlotte Hornets in 1989, and the team (coached by Fitzsimmons), in a shocking upset, beat the Los Angeles Lakersin 5 games that season before falling to the Portland Trail Blazersin the Western Conference Finals. In 1991, The Suns stormed to a 55-27 record, however they lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz 3-1. In 1992, the Suns cruised to a 53-29 record during the regular season. While having sent four players to the all-star game in the last two years (Chambers, Johnson, Hornacek and Majerle), the Suns were poised to make a serious run at the NBA Finals. They showed their poise by sweeping the San Antonio Spurs in 3 games in the first round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs. But once again the Suns fell in five games to the Trail Blazers in the conference semifinals, however the series was punctuated by an electrifying game 4, in which the Suns lost in double overtime 153-151 (the highest scoring game in NBA Playoff history to date). The Suns were yet again denied a shot at a title, but in subsequent seasons enjoyed even greater success than ever before.
1993 NBA Finals and "The Barkley era"
In 1992, the Suns moved into their new arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena (now
US Airways Center). The arena was not the only new arrival into Phoenix though, as flamboyant all-star power forward Charles Barkleywas traded from the Philadelphia 76ersfor Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry. Barkley would go on to win his first and only MVP his first year with Phoenix in 1993.
In addition to Barkley, the Suns added some key players to their roster including former Boston Celtic
Danny Aingeand drafted players in University of Arkansascenter Oliver Millerand forward Richard Dumas(who was actually drafted in 1991 but was suspended for his rookie year for violating the NBA drug policy).
Under rookie head coach
Paul Westphal(a former Suns assistant and, as a player, member of the 1976 Suns squad that went to the NBA Finals), the Suns squad consisting mostly of Barkley, Majerle, Johnson and Ainge won 62 games that year. In the first round of the playoffs, they defeated the eighth-seeded Lakers, coming back from an 0-2 deficit in the five game series. The Suns went on to eliminate the Spurs and Sonics, advancing to the Finals for the second time in franchise history. They eventually lost to the Bulls, led by Michael Jordanand Scottie Pippen. This series included a triple-overtime game (Game 3) that along with game 4 of the 1976 series are the only triple overtime games in the history of the NBA finals. [cite web | title = Paxson's Trey Propels Bulls into NBA history | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19921993.html | accessdate = 2007-04-18 1993 NBA finals] [cite web | title = Triple-OT Classic Highlights Boston's 13th Title | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19751976.html | accessdate = 2007-04-18 1976 NBA Finals] Approximately 300,000 fans braved the 105 degree heat to celebrate the memorable season in the streets of Phoenix. [cite web | title = The Good Ol' Days | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/history/00692542.html | accessdate = 2007-04-18 Parade after the Finals]
The Suns continued to be successful in the regular season, going 178-68 during the 1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95 seasons. They continued to bolster their roster adding players such as
A.C. Green, Danny Manning, Wesley Person, Wayman Tisdale, and Elliot Perry. Despite a Pacific Division title in 1995, the Suns ended up being eliminated in consecutive Western Conference Semifinal rounds by the Houston Rockets.One of the big reasons the Suns lost to Houston in 1995 was the fact that Danny Manning injured his Anterior Cruciate Ligamentright before the All-Star Break. In both years the Suns led the series by two games at one point (2-0 in 1994, 3-1 in 1995) only to see the Rockets come back to win each series in seven games.
At the end of the 1994–95 season, Phoenix Suns general manager,
Bryan Colangelo(son of Jerry) initiated what proved to be a very costly trade, sending all star guard/forward Dan Majerle and a first round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliersin exchange for John "Hot Rod" Williams. Majerle was a favorite amongst the fans in Phoenix as well as the Suns locker room [cite web | title = Dan Mejerle | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/history/allcentury_majerle.html | accessdate = 2007-04-18 Dan Majerle, fan favorite] . The trade was made to address the Suns' desperate need of a shot blocking center, but proved frustrating as Majerle's presence was sorely missed, and Williams's production never met expectations.
The 1995-96 season turned into a very disappointing year for the Suns (despite drafting future All-Star
Michael Finley) in which they posted a 41-41 record, and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs. It should be noted that Finley, the team's second-leading scorer, went down with an injury shortly before the start of the playoffs leaving Barkley as the Suns' only reliable option. Westphal was fired mid-way through the season and replaced once again by Fitzsimmons. A combination of front office unrest, along with the dwindling possibility of winning a championship lead to turmoil in Barkley's relationship with Jerry Colangelo who both spurned each other publicly. This led to Barkley being traded to Houston for Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Mark Bryant, and Chucky Brown, a the trade turned out be unproductive for either team. Although Barkley helped lead the Rockets to a 57-25 record and a trip the Western Conference Finals in 1997, that turned out to be the only time Houston advanced past the first during his time there, as age and declining physical ability quickly caught up with Barkley and an already aging Rockets team ( Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Willis). As for the Suns, three of the four players were not with the franchise just one year later, and furthermore the two most talented players (being Horry and Cassell) constantly clashed with the coach and seemed to be a negative influence in the locker room. Fact|date=March 2007 (The feud between Barkley and Colangelo has since been repaired, and Barkley has appeared at a number of Suns home games in the years since. Fact|date=March 2007 He was also present to see his number retired into the Suns "Ring Of Honor" in 2004.)
1996 NBA Draft, the Suns used their 15th pick for guard Steve Nash, of Santa Clara University. Upon hearing the draft announcement, Suns fans booed in disapproval of the relatively unknown player (destined to win at least two Most Valuable Player awards with the Suns), due to the fact that he had not played in one of the major college conferences.  During his first two seasons in the NBA, he played a supporting role behind NBA star point guards Jason Kiddand Kevin Johnson. On June 25, 1998, Nash was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks in exchange for Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, the draft rights to Pat Garrity, and a first-round draft pick which was later used to select Shawn Marion.
After the Barkley trade, the Suns began the 1996-97 season miserably starting 0-13 which was a franchise record for the worst start. During the 13 game losing streak Fitzsimmons stepped down as coach and was replaced by former player Danny Ainge.
After an on the court altercation between Ainge and Horry, Horry was traded to the Lakers for former Sun and NBA all-star
Cedric Ceballos. Cassell was later traded to Dallas for all-star guard Jason Kidd. With a mostly small lineup, the Suns put together an 11 game win streak that put them in the playoffs, in a series that almost upset the highly favored Sonics.
In the off-season prior to the 2000 NBA season the Suns traded for perennial All-Star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway stirring a large amount of hype by creating the tandem of Kidd and Hardaway, which was called "Backcourt 2000." Fact|date=March 2007 However, the combination of Hardaway and Kidd was never fully realized as Hardaway would miss a number of games during the middle of the 1999-2000 season and Kidd would break his ankle going into the playoffs just as Hardaway began his return to the court. As the Suns, now led by the returned Hardaway entered the 2000 playoffs, they shocked the favored San Antonio Spurs by ousting them from the playoffs 3-1 in the best of five series. However, even with the return of Kidd at Hardaway's side in the next round, the Suns fell to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in a 4-1 series.
The Suns continued to make the playoffs until the 2001-02 campaign, when they fell short for the first time in 14 years. That season marked the trade of Jason Kidd, partly due to a publicized domestic violence episode, to the
New Jersey Netsfor Stephon Marbury. Lottery-bound, however, the Suns were able to draft Amare Stoudemire.
The 2002-03 campaign saw the emergence of Amaré Stoudemire a graduate from
Cypress Creek High School (Orlando, Florida).He became the first ever high school player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2002–03 season, during which the Suns posted a record of 44–38 and returned to the playoffs. Marbury had an stellar individual season, making the All-NBA Third Team and being selected as a reserve for 2003 NBA All-Star Game while averaging 22.3 ppg and 8.1 apg. The Suns were eliminated in the first round once again by the San Antonio Spurs, but only after a six game series with the eventual NBA champions.
In the 2003-04 season, the Suns found themselves out of the playoffs. The Suns made a blockbuster mid-season trade sending Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway to the
New York Knicks.
teve Nash and the Run n' Gun era (2004–2008)
The beginning of 2004 saw the departure of the face of Suns management since the team's inception, when
Jerry Colangeloannounced that the Phoenix Suns were to be sold to an investment group headed by San Diego-based business executive (and Tucson native) Robert Sarverfor $401 million. However, the 2004-05 season marked the Suns' return to the NBA's elite, with the Suns finishing with the best record in the NBA at 62–20, tying their franchise record that was set by the 1992–93 team. This feat was made possible by the off-season unrestricted FA signing of All-Star point guard Steve Nashfrom Dallas. Nash would go on to win the MVP award that season. Amare Stoudemireand Shawn Marionwere named All-Stars this year and first year coach, Mike D'Antoni, was named NBA Coach of the Year.
2005 NBA Playoffs, Phoenix was the first seed in the Western Conference, and because it owned the NBA's best record, it was guaranteed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Suns swept the Memphis Grizzlies4-0 and defeated the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericksin the second round 4-2, Steve Nash forcing Game 6 into OT with a 3-pointer in the dying seconds. In the Western Conference Finals, the Suns played the San Antonio Spurswho won the series 4-1, ending Phoenix's outstanding season, partly due to Joe Johnson missing the first two games of the series. Joe Johnson went on to start the remaining games where he averaged 40 minutes per game and 18.3 PPG. The Suns lost the first 2 at home, fell behind 3-0 in the series but escaped with a win in Game 4 at San Antonio 111-106 but were eliminated at home 101-95. Amare Stoudemireaveraged a staggering 37.0 ppg, the highest ever by a player in their first Conference Finals. Fact|date=March 2007
2005-06 NBA seasonbegan negatively when Amare Stoudemire underwent microfracture surgeryin his knee on October 18, 2005. He missed all but three games that year. Along with that, promising shooting guard Joe Johnson demanded a trade to the Atlanta Hawks, in which the Suns got Boris Diawalong with two future first round picks. Other acquisitions this year included Raja Belland Kurt Thomas. Despite the turnover in players, the Suns were once again able to win the Pacific going 54-28 and capturing the second seed in the Western Conference. Steve Nash was awarded his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the second point-guard ( Magic Johnsonwas the first) to win the award multiple times. Also, Boris Diawwas named NBA Most Improved Player.
The Suns began the 2006 Western Conference Playoffs as favorites against the
Los Angeles Lakers. After winning Game 1 in Phoenix, they found themselves trailing in the series 3-1 after impressive performances by Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant. However, the Suns went on to win three straight games. They won Game 5 easily at home. With 7:33 left in the game, Suns guard Raja Bell grabbed Kobe Bryant around the neck and threw him down as the Lakers star drove to the basket. Bell earned a technical foul, his second of the game, and an automatic ejection. The Suns took game Game 6 in OT, their first OT win all season despite 50 points from Bryant and Raja Bell out serving a one-game suspension (for a flagrant foul against Bryant in Game 5) with last second help from mid-season acquisition Tim Thomas. On their home court, the Suns won Game 7 121-90, eliminating the Lakers for the first time since 1993. The Suns became only the eighth team in NBA history to win a playoff series after being behind 3-1.
In the second round, the Suns faced the
Los Angeles Clippers. The series was played closely, with both teams trading games on each others' courts. The series was 2-2 and The Suns faced a huge deficit in Game 5 but fought back and won in double OT and after a Game 6 loss finally won the series in the decisive seventh game on their home court at US Airways Center, winning by a margin of 20 with an NBA record 15 3-point FG's May 22, 2006.
They went on to play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Underdogs this time, The Suns took Game 1 in Dallas by a single point and their
May 30victory in Game 4 marked the most wins thus far for the franchise in a Conference Finals series since the 1993 season. Many credit this success (despite losing Stoudemire) to the emergence of Diaw, Bell (out for two games of the series due to injury), and Barbosa as clutch playoff performers; and an overall team depth they did not possess at all last season. The Suns fought hard in Games 5 and 6 but clearly were no match as they were blown out by a combined 25 points and eliminated from the series on June 3, 2006in Game 6. It was yet another disappointing end for the Suns.
In the 2006 off-season, the Suns signed
Minnesota TimberwolvesPG Marcus Banksto a five-year contract worth $21.3 million. Also, the Suns signed G Leandro Barbosato a five-year contract extension beginning in the 2007-08 season worth approximately $33 million. Boris Diawwas also extended to a five year deal worth approximately $45 million.
The Phoenix Suns finished second in the Western Conference. They defeated the
Los Angeles Lakersin the first round, but lost to the San Antonio Spursin the Conference Semi-Finals.
June 6, former TNT analyst and NBA three-point specialist, Steve Kerr, was appointed Suns' General Manager and President of Basketball Operations. Kerr is close to team owner Robert Sarver, and is also a part of the Sarver-led investment group that purchased the franchise from Jerry Colangelo.Fact|date=March 2008
June 28 2007, Spanish SG Rudy Fernández was taken 24th overall in the 2007 NBA Draftby the Suns, who subsequently traded the rights to the pick to the Portland Trail Blazersfor cash. SF Alando Tuckerof Wisconsin was taken with the 29th pick.
July 11, 2007, the Suns signed former Orlando MagicSF Grant Hill on a 1-year $1.8 million deal with a player option for a second season at $2 million.
July 20, 2007, the Suns traded power forward/center Kurt Thomas and two future first-round picks (2008 and 2010) to the Seattle SuperSonicsin exchange for a trade exception of $8 million and a conditional second-round pick.
August 27 2007, Maryland guard D. J. Strawberrysigned a two-year contract with the Suns that includes a guaranteed first year and a team option for the second season. Strawberry was drafted with the 59th selection in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft; in the 2007 NBA Summer League, he averaged a league-best 6.4 assists.Fact|date=September 2008
October 1 2007, the Suns signed free agent center Brian Skinnerto a one-year deal.
February 6 2008, the Suns traded four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion, along with Marcus Banks, to the Miami Heatfor Shaquille O'Neal.
March 4, 2008, the Suns signed guard Gordan Giricek.
May 11, 2008, after the Suns lost to the San Antonio Spurs4-1 in the first round of the 2008 Western Conference Playoffs, Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antonisigned with the New York Knicks, replacing ousted Head Coach Isiah Thomas, who went 56-108 in two seasons with the Knicks.
June 9, 2008, Terry Porterwas named Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns, succeeding Mike D'Antoni. Porter was an Assistant Coach of the Detroit Pistonswhen he was let go after the Pistons were eliminated by the Boston Celticsin the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, losing 4 games to 2 and Pistons Head Coach Flip Saunderswas fired June 3, 2008.
During the offseason, the Suns had many difficulties signing free agents because of being well over the luxery tax. They made attempts to sign a back up point guard Tyronn Lue, however, he decided to sign with the Bucks for more money. The two draft picks Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic may be helpful covering the backup center and point guard slots.
The Suns have also been involved in trade rumors consisting of Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa. The two players seem to be great trade bait, and may be the keys to fuffiling the Suns' needs in the future.
Logos and uniforms
For the 2000-01 season, the Phoenix Suns introduced three new logos. Two of these were merely updates to existing logos, modernizing the themes and adding the gray color. The logo pictured here incorporates the mythical phoenix bird into the existing Suns' theme. It illustrates the team's hometown by picturing the bird it was named after rising out a ball with an abbreviation for Phoenix. Of the team's three logos, this is the one that adorns the hardwood at center court. There is a media dispute over the usage of the logo, as many TV networks use the new one (right), but many
video games and websitesstill use a secondary logo that had been the team's main logo of the 1990s.
Since the 2000-2001 season, the Suns have used the same white home and purple road uniforms. On October 20, 2003, an alternate uniform was introduced that was to be used at a minimum, five games a year. This orange uniform is used both at home and on the road and always used in selected consecutive games on the road and in the playoffs. It is the only uniform in the NBA that has an abbreviated version of the city name, PHX, across the front chest. For the 2006–2007 season the Suns removed the uniform number from the side of the shorts, replacing it with the same sun logo that is found on the other side.
The Suns Gorilla
For the first eleven seasons of their existence in the NBA, the Suns had no official mascot. An early attempt was made involving a
sunflowercostume, but it never caught on [cite web | title = The Gorilla | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/history/history_gorilla_80.html | accessdate = 2007-05-01 The Gorilla] . In the winter of 1980, a singing telegramnamed Henry Rojas from Eastern Onion Telegram service was sent to the arena in a gorillacostume. Security saw him and suggested to him to stay for a while to entertain the fans during the breaks. He kept coming to games until officially invited to be the Suns' mascot.
Since then, the gorilla, named Go, has been known for his slapstick humor during the games such as his routine push-ups and stadium stairs all to the sound of the Rocky Theme, and the fantastic dunks that are performed before each 4th quarter. Also, one of his more beloved skits was at a
Knickshome game where he came out to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” wearing a hat, with several pieces of garbage stuck to his leg. Halfway through the song, a group of “muggers” attacked him, and he staggered off the court afterwards. The gorilla was honored in 2005 when he was selected to be one of three inaugural members of the Mascots Hall of Fame. [cite web | title = Gorilla Inducted into Mascot Hall of Fame | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/news/gorilla_050816.html | accessdate = 2007-05-01 The Gorilla in the Hall]
Hairy and Hairyson
In 2002, an inflatable gorilla named Hairy was introduced as a new Suns mascot. Standing at 9'1", Hairy entertains the crowd during breaks by dancing with Hairyson who was introduced in 2004 and stands at about half the size. [cite web | title = Hairy & Hairyson | work = NBA.com | url = http://www.nba.com/suns/mascot/hairy_hairyson.html | accessdate = 2007-05-01 Hairy & Hairyson]
The first play by play announcer for the Suns was Bob Vache of KTAR radio, who died in an automobile accident midway through the 1969-70 season. Vache was replaced by the Suns' color commentator, Rodney "Hot Rod" Hundley, who would later go on to be the longtime voice of the
Utah Jazz. [http://www.nba.com/suns/history/6970_recap.html]
Legendary broadcaster Al McCoy has covered the team ever since the 1971-72 season. McCoy has broadcast Suns games on radio for the 37th consecutive season on KTAR Phoenix (which has carried Suns games for 38 seasons) as of 2006-07. McCoy's unique, folksy style of calling the games, including his signature catchphrases such as "Shazam!" for a three-point shot, endeared him to thousands of Suns fans across Arizona, the Southwest, and nationwide. McCoy was honored in March of 2007 by the Suns, who named their soon-to-be renovated media center at US Airways Center in his honor [http://www.nba.com/suns/news/mccoy_release_070302.html] . McCoy was partnered for many years with legendary coach
Cotton Fitzsimmons. In recent years, former NBA players Vinny Del Negroand Tim Kemptonserved as color commentators on the radio side, with Del Negro working most regular-season home games and all of the playoffs with McCoy (Del Negro subsequently accepted a position in the Suns' front office).
Until 2003-2004, Al McCoy's radio broadcast was simulcast on most television broadcasts. Former
NBA on CBSbroadcaster Gary Benderhas handled the cable Fox Sports Net(FSN-Arizona) telecasts since the early 1990s that were not simulcast. Beginning with the 2003-04 season, Tom Leanderassumed the reins on over-the-air TV; the games air on MyNetworkTVaffiliate KUTP. Former Sunsstar Dan Majerle, a member of the team's Ring-of-Honor has served as a commentator on television broadcasts since 2004. He splits the color commentator duties with former Suns star Eddie Johnson.
The FSN Arizona broadcasts have been different from those of NBA teams on other affiliate networks, because the time-and-score graphic does not include an embedded
shot clock. Instead, it has only been shown when the clock reaches eight seconds or less, is shown in large print, and is sponsored. Among the sponsors of the clock's appearances have been Henkeland the Arizona Department of Health Services(under the slogan "Inhale Life"). However, for the 2006-07 season, an embedded clock was added to the KUTP telecasts. On January 19, 2007, an embedded clock was part of the graphic during the FSN Arizona telecast of the team's victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, but the sponsored shot clock was still also on-screen when the time was expiring. It is unknown if the embedded clock was only a one-night change or will be a permanent feature of Suns broadcasts.
$150 or more are added to Phoenix Suns charities, as announced by the broadcasters, if a Suns player made a three-pointer in every Suns game.
Phoenix Suns' All-Century Team
The Suns's All-Century Team was voted on by the fans:
Kevin Johnson, 1988-2000
Jason Kidd, 1996-2001
Charles Barkley, 1992-1996
Tom Chambers, 1988-1993
Alvan Adams, 1975-1988
Paul Westphal, 1992-96
Paul Westphal, 1975-1980
Dan Majerle, 1988-95, 2001-2002
*Forward Walter Davis, 1977-1988
Mark West, 1987-94, 1999-2000
Cotton Fitzsimmons, 1970-1972, 1988-1992 & 1996
40th Anniversary Team
The 40th Anniversary Suns Team – selected by the vote of the fans through the Internet - was unveiled on January 3, 2008, when the Suns defeated the
Seattle SuperSonics, 104-96, to celebrate the team's 40th season. The Suns' inaugural game in 1968 was against the Sonics.
Dick Van Arsdale
*G Walter Davis
Alvan Adams Basketball Hall of Famers
While no player has yet won induction based solely or primarily upon his tenure with the Suns, two enshrinees spent significant parts of their careers with Phoenix:
One player, enshrined primarily based upon his service with another team, briefly wore the Suns uniform during the middle of his career:
One individual was enshrined based upon his service as a Suns coach, executive and owner:
Members of Suns Ring of Honor
Dick Van Arsdale, G, 1968–77
*6 Walter Davis, G, 1977–88
Kevin Johnson, G, 1988–2000
Dan Majerle, F, 1988–95 & 2001–02
Tom Chambers, F, 1988–93
Alvan Adams, C, 1975–88
Charles Barkley, F, 1992–96
Connie Hawkins, F, 1969–73
Paul Westphal, G, 1975–80 & 1983–84; Head Coach, 1992–96
Cotton Fitzsimmons, Head Coach, 1970–72 & 1988–92 & 1996 (832 is # of coaching wins)
Jerry Colangelo, first Suns General Manager
Joe Proski, Suns' long-time Trainer
*Minutes Played -
*Field Goals Made - Walter Davis (6,497)
*Field Goal Attempts - Walter Davis (12,497)
*Field Goal Percentage -
*3-Point Field Goals Made -
*Three-Point Field Goal Attempts -
*Three-Point Percentage -
*Free Throws Made -
*Free Throws Attempted -
*Free Throw Percentage -
*Offensive Rebounds -
*Defensive Rebounds -
*Total Rebounds -
*Blocked Shots -
*Personal Fouls -
*Points - Walter Davis (15,666)
: "* 150 games minimum"
NBA Most Valuable Player Award
Charles Barkley- 1993
Steve Nash- 2005, 2006
NBA Rookie of the Year Award
Alvan Adams- 1976
*Walter Davis - 1978
Amare Stoudemire- 2003
NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award
*Eddie Johnson - 1989
Danny Manning- 1998
Rodney Rogers- 2000
Leandro Barbosa- 2007
NBA Most Improved Player Award
Kevin Johnson- 1989
Boris Diaw- 2006
NBA Coach of the Year Award
Cotton Fitzsimmons- 1989
Mike D'Antoni- 2005
Best NBA Player ESPY Award
Charles Barkley- 1994
Steve Nash- 2005
All-NBA First Team
Connie Hawkins- 1970
Paul Westphal- 1977, 1979, 1980
Dennis Johnson- 1981
Charles Barkley- 1993
Jason Kidd- 1999, 2000, 2001
Steve Nash- 2005, 2006, 2007
Amare Stoudemire- 2007
All-NBA Second Team
Paul Westphal- 1978
*Walter Davis - 1978, 1979
Kevin Johnson- 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994
Tom Chambers- 1989, 1990
Charles Barkley- 1994, 1995
Amare Stoudemire- 2005, 2008
Steve Nash- 2008
All-NBA Third Team
Kevin Johnson- 1992
Charles Barkley- 1996
Stephon Marbury- 2003
Shawn Marion- 2005, 2006
NBA All-Defensive First Team
Don Buse- 1978, 1979, 1980
Dennis Johnson- 1981, 1982, 1983
Jason Kidd- 1999, 2001
Raja Bell- 2007
NBA All-Defensive Second Team
Paul Silas- 1971, 1972
Dick Van Arsdale- 1973
Dan Majerle- 1991, 1993
Jason Kidd- 2000
*Clifford Robinson - 2000
Raja Bell- 2008
NBA All-Rookie First Team
Gary Gregor- 1969
Mike Bantom- 1974
John Shumate- 1976
Alvan Adams- 1976
Ron Lee- 1977
*Walter Davis - 1978
Armon Gilliam- 1988
Michael Finley- 1996
Amare Stoudemire- 2003
NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Richard Dumas- 1993
Wesley Person- 1995
Shawn Marion- 2000
*Joe Johnson - 2002
Curse of the Coin Flip, the explanation of an alleged curse on the Suns after they lost the opportunity to draft Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Phoenix Gazette", January 22, 1968.
The Arizona Republic", January 23, 1968.
*"Suns continue ties to Tucson", Greg Hansen,
Arizona Daily Star, April 17, 2004. [http://www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/printDS/18374.php]
* [http://www.nba.com/suns/ Suns.com] Official Website
* [http://www.planetorange.net PlanetOrange.net] Official Social network created by the Phoenix Suns
* [http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/phoenix/suns.html Phoenix Suns] @ Sportsecyclopedia.com
* [http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/PHO/ Phoenix Suns] @ Basketball-Reference.com
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