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The Phoenix Suns are a National Basketball Association team based in
Formerly known as:
Home Arena: America West Arena
Uniform colors: Purple and Orange
Logo design: A burning basketball, the letters "PHX" superimposed
The Suns came to the Valley of the Sun in 1968. They began with a victory
over the Seattle Supersonics on opening night.
The brainchild of former Chicago Bulls assistant coach and Arizona sports
magnate Jerry Colangelo, the Suns in the 1970s had mild success, combining
the talents of such players like Dick Van Arsdale (The Original Sun), his
twin brother Tom Van Arsdale, Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins, Truck Robinson,
Alvan Adams, and center Neal Walk, who sadly, in 1974 had a car accident
that left him paralized. In 1976,the year the movie Rocky was released, the
Suns proved to be a real-life, basketball version of Rocky.They finished the
season with 40 wins and 42 losses, but shockingly they beat the Golden State
Warriors in the playoffs and went on to play the Boston Celtics in the NBA
finals, giving the Celtics a tough battle before falling in 6 games. Game 3
was a classic that is considered to be the greatest game in NBA history.
The next few years for the Suns werent as good, as a drug scandal rocked the
organization in 1982, and the franchise was having a hard time putting wins
together. That all began to change in 1987, though, with the acquisition
through a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers of Kevin Johnson and Mark West.
In 1988, Tom Chambers came over from Seattle, Jeff Hornacek was signed, and
the team began a 13 year playoff streak. Kurt Rambis was added from the
Charlotte Hornets in 1989, and the team caused a shocking upset by beating
the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games that season before falling to the Portland
Trail Blazers in the western conference finals.
Hornacek was traded to Philadelphia in 1992 along with Andrew Lang for the
flamboyant but productive Charles Barkley, probably a future hall of famer
himself. Former Boston Celtics member Danny Ainge was added to the mix and
the Suns had a dynamic team that would be hard to stop. They won 62 games
that year, advancing to the NBA finals for the second time ever, where they
lost in 6 games to the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen-led Bulls. The next
couple of years saw the Suns waste 3 to 1 leads vs the Houston Rockets and
get eliminated by them both years. In 1996, Barkley's relationship with
Colangelo grew sour and they thrashed each other publicly. Barkley got
traded and the Suns began what has been a down-spiral that has continued to
this day. While this was going on, Johnson retired, but he attempted a
comeback to try to help the Suns during the 1998 playoffs.
The Suns kept making the playoffs until the 2001-2002 campaign, when they
fell short for the first time in 14 years. That season marked the trade of
Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury. Lottery-bound,
however, the Suns were able to draft Amare Stoudemire.
The 2002-2003 has seen the emergence of the rookie player, who many have
likened to future Hall of Famer and current Utah Jazz power forward Karl
Malone. His size and athleticism, along with a strong work ethic, have many
anticipating him to join the ranks of Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin
Garnett as the best NBA players to have jumped from high school to the pro
ranks. He was named, on April 25, as the NBA's Rookie of The Year for the
2002-2003 season, when the Suns posted a record of 43-39 and returned to the
It is worthy to note that every single Suns game in history has been covered
both on local Phoenix tv and Radio by the legendary broadcaster, Al McCoy,
who has battled every kind of situation imaginable to keep doing his job
every time his beloved Suns play. He even travelled to Japan in 1991, when
the Suns kicked off the 1991-1992 NBA season there with 2 games against the Jazz.
Players of note
Basketball Hall of Fame
* Connie Hawkins
Not to be forgotten:
* 34 Charles Barkley
* Neal Walk
* Jeff Hornacek
Retired numbers/Suns Ring of Honor:
* 5 Dick Van Arsdale
* 6 Walter Davis
* 7 Kevin Johnson
* 24 Tom Chambers
* 33 Alvan Adams
* 42 Connie Hawkins
* 44 Paul Westphal
* Joe Proski (trainer)
* 9 Dan Majerle