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Top Ten Phoenix Suns of All-Time

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The 2010/11 NBA preseason might be upon us, but we’re still living in the past at The Hoops Manifesto.  We’ve gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Phoenix Suns.

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog; Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) Larry Nance – Phoenix Suns – 1981 – 1988

Suns accomplishments:

- Suns all-time leader in blocks
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84
- one-time NBA All-Star

“Nance had an underrated career in Phoenix. The original NBA Slam Dunk Champion was an All Star in 1985 and averaged more than 15 points per game in five of his six-and-a-half years in Phoenix. He was never able to get his team to the playoffs (ultimately traded to Cleveland in a deal that included “Thunder” Dan Majerle and Kevin Johnson).” – Philip

9) Jason Kidd – Phoenix Suns – 1996 – 2001

Suns accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1997/98 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1998/99
- NBA leader in assists in 1998/99 & 2000/01
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1998/99, 1999/00 & 2000/01
- three-time NBA All-Star
- three-time NBA All-Defensive Team
- three-time All-NBA

“Jason Kidd seemed to always be destined for NBA stardom, but it didn’t actually happen until he was traded to Phoenix during his third season as a pro.  There he blossomed into the player we all expected, and he left after his four-and-a-half seasons in the desert as a true superstar.” – Jeff Fox

8) Tom Chambers – Phoenix Suns – 1988 – 1993

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Suns accomplishments:

- jersey number (24) retired by franchise
- three-time NBA All-Star
- two-time All-NBA selection

“Standing 6-foot-10, Chambers’ strong shooting helped propel the Suns into playoff potential in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He also completed one of the nastiest dunks in the history of the game (his posterization of Mark Jackson), which alone should put him on this list.” – Diego Quezada 

“In Tom Chambers first two seasons with the Suns, he averaged 26.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg – the Amar’e Stoudemire of the 1980s.  And a certain Mom I know thought that he had nice legs in his short shorts.” – Jeff Fox

7) Alvan Adams – Phoenix Suns – 1975 – 1988

Suns accomplishments:

- jersey number (33) retired by franchise
- Suns all-time leader in games, minutes, offensive & total rebounds & steals
- NBA leader in games played in 1984/85
- one-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Although he is probably before many people’s time, Adams was a dynamic center for the Suns, epitomized by his triple-double of 47 points, 18 boards and 12 assists in 1977.” – Diego Quezada 

6) Walter Davis – Phoenix Suns – 1977 – 1988

Suns accomplishments:

- jersey number (6) retired by franchise
- Suns all-time leader in field goals (made & attempted) & points
- six-time NBA All-Star
- two-time All-NBA selection
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

 ”The Greyhound played just like his nickname suggests, fast ‘n’ sleek.  Guy was a phenomenal scorer, shooting for 24+ ppg in his first ever season – winning the ’78 Rookie of the Year.  Remains the Suns all time leading scorer to this day.” – Don

5) Shawn Marion – Phoenix Suns – 1999 – 2008

Suns accomplishments:

- Suns all-time leader in defensive rebounds
- NBA leader in steals in 2003/04 & 2006/07
- four-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- two-time All-NBA selection

“Selected by Phoenix in 1999, The Matrix was a perfect fit for the Suns. In Phoenix, he could rebound, defend and score effortlessly. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Suns became irrelevant once they trade Marion.” - Diego Quezada

“One of the most underrated players in his prime, Shawn Marion was the one Suns interested in playing defense on a consistent basis.  So the team had him guard every position on the floor, from the Tony Parkers of the world to the Tim Duncans.” – Jeff Fox

4) Amar’e Stoudemire – Phoenix Suns – 2002 – 2010

Suns accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 2006/07 & 2009/10
- NBA leader in free throws attempted in 2004/05
- five-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- four-time All-NBA selection

“STAT may have left The Desert, but the Suns will have a hard time replacing him. He was a dominant, explosive physical force, and came back after his devastating knee injuries to return to his prime form. I sure hope you’re ready, Hakim Warrick.” - Diego Quezada 

“When on, STAT’s an explosive beast.  One of the best power forwards in the game today, he’s quick, agile, and possessing a jump that will take him over all but the biggest of defenders – Stoudemire’s game’s big enough to really trouble all but the very elite.” – Don

3) Kevin Johnson – Phoenix Suns – 1988 – 1998, 2000

Suns accomplishments:

- jersey number (7) retired by the franchise
- Suns all-time leader in free throws (made & attempted) & assists
- seventh all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- three-time NBA All-Star
- five-time All-NBA selection
- NBA Most Improved Player

“At most franchises, KJ would be considered #1 at the point.  The Suns traded for KJ with Cleveland… and never looked back on that deal.  The season after, KJ exploded – going for 20+ ppg and 12+ apg, winning the Most Improved Player award.  And anyone remember his huge dunk over Olajuwon? MONSTROUS!!!” – Don

“The late 1980s-early 1990s was a golden age for point guards in the NBA, and KJ was one of the elite.  Over his first four full seasons in Phoenix, he averaged 21.2 ppg and 11.1 apg.  All that and he wasn’t even the best Western Conference point guard named Johnson!” – Jeff Fox

2) Charles Barkley – Phoenix Suns – 1992 – 1996

Suns accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (34) retired by the franchise
- one-time NBA MVP
- four-time NBA All-Star
- four-time All-NBA selection

“The Chuckster.  Sir Charles took the Suns to the NBA Finals the first season he arrived.  His 92/93 season is accounted by many as the greatest season ever for a Suns player.  League MVP.  And that season belonged to him… ‘cept for damn Jordan.  At Phoenix, he averaged a phenomenal 23.4 ppg; 11.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 steals per.  A player that was completely beastly, he was at his best when he was a Sun.” – Don

“Charles Barkley was the missing ingredient to make a very good Suns team become great.  Damn you, John Paxson.” – Jeff Fox

1) Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns – 1996 – 1998, 2004 - present

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Suns accomplishments:

- Suns all-time leader in three-pointers made
- fifth all-time in three-point % in NBA history
- second all-time in free throw % in NBA history
- eighth all-time in assists in NBA history
- tenth all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in free throw % in 2005/06 & 2009/10
- NBA leader in assists in 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 & 2009/10
- NBA leader in assists per game in 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 & 2009/10
- two-time NBA MVP
- five-time NBA All-Star
- five-time All-NBA selection

“The player who brought run-and-gun back to the NBA, Steve Nash has catalyzed a potent Phoenix offense for the past six years. He may not have even gotten into the Finals, but his team was a hell of a lot more fun to watch than the Spurs.” – Diego Quezada 

“An amazing player.  One of the best passers in the game today, and also one of the best shooters.  Actually… one of the best shooters of all-time.  Two MVPs, and Nash has changed the culture at Phoenix, leading them to become a Western Conference powerhouse. 
At a franchise that’s had some shining lights at the point, Steve Nash has been a beacon.” – Don

 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Clippers, Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City/Seattle, Orlando, Philadelphia.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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