- NBA Championships: 0
- Last NBA Championship: N/A
- Claim to Fame: Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash made the NBA fun again during the franchise’s celebrated Seven Seconds or Less era.
- Claim to Shame: The Suns never made it to an NBA Finals during Nash’s two stints with the team.
The Phoenix Suns have piled up a lot of wins over the years, but they feel empty when you look at how it’s all shaken out.
The Suns joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1968, and by 1975 they found themselves in the NBA Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics, the blue-bloods of the NBA elite.
The Suns would not find success again until the early 1990’s, when the team acquired 76ers forward Charles Barkley. Barkley enjoyed an MVP season in 1993, and led the Suns to the Finals. Unfortunately, Phoenix ran into Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, and Jordan would not be denied his three-peat. 1993 is still the last year that the Suns have played in an NBA Finals.
Phoenix found its way back to prominence a decade later when they signed free agent Steve Nash in 2004 (the point guard was an original draft pick of the Suns in 1996).
Paired with head coach Mike D’Antoni, the Suns unleashed an explosive, free flowing brand of basketball that helped Nash earn back-to-back MVP trophies in 2005 and 2006.
Nash, Amare Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion formed the nucleus of a team that was a fixture atop the West, hovering around 60 wins, but never making to the NBA Finals.
By 2012, the franchise was in full rebuild mode. In 2016, they drafted a nice budding star in Devin Booker. Last year, Booker led the team in scoring at 22.1 points per game at just 21 years old.
Phoenix finished 21-61, which led them back to the lottery and the balls bounced their way, winning the first overall pick. They promptly selected big man DeAndre Ayton.
This Suns will take their lumps this year, but they are building a team that could contend in a few years’ time, on the strength of these two cornerstones.