The Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since 1992, the Suns have played their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.
The Phoenix Suns began play as an expansion team in 1968. The franchise owns the NBA’s fourth-best all-time winning percentage, winning 55 percent of its games, as of the end of the 2013–14 season. In 46 years of play, they have made the playoffs 29 times, posted 19 seasons of 50 or more wins, made nine trips to the Western Conference Finals, and advanced to the NBA Finals twice, in 1976 and 1993. As a result, based on their all-time win-loss percentage, the Suns are the team with the highest winning percentage to have never won an NBA championship.
Charles Barkley, nicknamed “Sir Charles”, instantly turned the Phoenix Suns around when he arrived there for the 1992-93 NBA season. He not only led the Suns to an NBA best 62–20 record, which earned him the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award, but also their first NBA Finals appearance since 1976. Charles Barkley was the face of the Suns during his four-year tenure there. He averaged 23.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists as a Phoenix Sun. Charles Barkley is an 11-time NBA All-Star and the 1991 NBA All-Star Game MVP.
Steve Nash was perhaps the best point guard to don a Phoenix Suns jersey. Playing under Coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo style of basketball system, Steve Nash helped make the Phoenix Suns serious contenders in the Western Conference during the mid-2000s. He led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1993 and named the league’s MVP. Steve Nash is most noted for his playmaking, ball-handling skills and shooting. He was an eight-time NBA All-Star, a two-time recipient of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led the league in assists five times.
Amar’e Stoudemire is a gifted basketball player and one of the most exciting Phoenix Suns ever. His athleticism, quickness, and explosiveness to the rim made him a star in the NBA. He and Steve Nash, “the John Stockton and Karl Malone of the new millennium” led the Phoenix Suns to a 62–20 record in the 2005 NBA season. He averaged 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds a contest as a Phoenix Sun, made five All-Star teams, and won the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
Shawn Marion was an explosive dunker, a rebounding force, spot-up shooter, and killer defender. Nicknamed “The Matrix”, Shawn Marion was widely regarded as one of the most versatile players in the NBA because of his athleticism and ability to play and defend many positions. Whatever the energetic Phoenix Suns needed, he provided. Shawn Marion averaged 18.4 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.3 combined blocks/steals for the team. He is a four-time NBA All-Star, 2005 NBA Shooting Stars champion, and an NBA champion.
Paul Westphal was arguably the greatest shooting guard in Phoenix Suns’ history. The five-time NBA All-Star and NBA champion helped the Suns reach their first-ever Finals appearance against the Boston Celtics. He was a brilliant offensive force for the Phoenix Suns. Paul Westphal averaged 22.5 points per game, 5.6 assists per game, and 51.8 field goal percentages with the Phoenix Suns. He even coached the Phoenix Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals. Westphal ranks eighth in career points, sixth in career steals, and seventh in assists in Suns’ history.