The Phoenix Suns started as an expansion team in 1968 and they had very little success during their first seven years of existence in the NBA, making the playoffs just once. Their fortunes changed in the mid-70s to the mid-80s when they were perennial playoff contenders with players such as Walter Davis and Alvan Adams, leading them in their first NBA Finals appearance in 1976.
After a few bad years from 1986 to 1988, the Suns acquired Kevin Johnson from the Cavaliers and he led them to the playoffs until 2000. Of course, the trade for Charles Barkley in 1993 helped the team in a big way that led to their second NBA Finals appearance.
From 2005 to 2010, Phoenix was led by Steve Nash, who bagged back-to-back NBA MVP Awards. But the departure of Nash meant that the Suns became a mediocre team. Ever since he left, the Suns have not made the playoffs.
With ten players already on their Ring of Honor and ten getting inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the Suns have produced a lot of great players. Here are the five who made it into their all-time starting five.
Center – Amar’e Stoudemire
Drafted ninth overall in 2002 out of high school, Amar’e Stoudemire established himself as one of the most explosive power forwards in the NBA. He won Rookie of the Year and he became a five-time All-Star. The arrival of Steve Nash pretty much unlocked his offensive potential, helping the Suns make the playoffs from 2005 to 2010.
“STAT” ranks sixth in the Suns all-time scoring list with 11,035 points. He also ranks eighth in total minutes played, third in rebounds, and fifth in blocks. He missed the entire all but three games in the 2005-06 seasons due to a knee injury. With his contributions to the Suns, he will surely join their Ring of Honor in the near future.
Honorable Mention: Center – Alvan Adams
Already a member of the Suns’ Ring of Honor, Alvan Adams played his entire 13-year career in Phoenix. Adams is the team’s all-time leader in games played, as well as rebounds and steals. He also ranks second in points, third in assists, and fourth in blocks. He won the 1976 Rookie of the Year award and was an All-Star in the same year.