Phoenix Suns All Time Roster

STARTING LINEUP :

C. Tom Chambers

P.F. Charles Barkley

S.F. Connie Hawkins

S.G. Paul Westphal

P.G. Steve Nash

BENCH :

 C. Amaré Stoudemire

P.F. Larry Nance

S.F. Walter Davis

S.G. Dan Majerle

P.G. Kevin Johnson

P.G. Jason Kidd

S.G. Dick Van Arsdale

 

CENTERS :

At center I picked Tom Chambers. His primary position was PF but he could play C and did it many times through his career. A case could be made for Stat (who’s rather a PF but can play C as well, there were no true great C in the Suns history, their better was certainly Alvan Adams but honestly both Tom and Amaré were just better than him) but I think that Chambers was overall a better player. Yes Stoudemire is more athletic and more dominant in the paint, but Chambers was a better shooter, passer, defender, leader and better in the clutch than Amaré. And he mastered more the fundamentals. Which is why I pick him. Tom was truly an incredible player and had his best years in Phoenix. He led the team to two WCFs in a row. It’s just too bad that he was past his prime by the time Barkley joined the team cause the Suns would have had a better chance to defeat Chicago in 93 without a doubt. He was still a very important player in that team nonetheless.

 

His back up has to be Amaré Stoudemire AKA Stats. He’s been often criticized for his lack of leadership and defense but he’s still an amazing talent and was a very important part of one of the most exciting teams of the 2000’s.

POWER FORWARDS :

The starting PF has obviously to be Charles Barkley. One of he very best PFs ever who, thanks to his trade to Phoenix, finally had a solid team surrouding him and a strong chance to win a ring. He eventually did not but he still led the team to the Finals in his first year as a Sun and this Suns team is even the best, with the late 90’s Jazz, that the Bulls met in the Finals. Thanks to Barkley and the Suns we had in 93 one of the best Finals ever. Besides Barkley had his first and only MVP. So Barkley never managed to lead this team to a ring but it was very close though. Again the first year they played extremely well against the Bulls and who knows what would have happened if Paxson didn’t hit that three in the game 6… And the following two years they lost in the semis, but both times against the future champions, the Houston Rockets. And both times the Rockets had to play 7 games to beat them. In 95 the Suns were even leading 3-1 before the Rockets came back (never underestimate the heart of a champion) and won the series. Game 7 was only won by 1 point by the way… and if the Suns won that game, and this series, they probably would have won it all. So it was VERY close for three years nonetheless.

 

As his back up I picked Larry Nance. One of the first legends of the dunk contest, Larry was certainly not just a dunker. He was a very versatile player, who could play SF, PF or C. Very good scorer and terrific defender he was the best player of the team (with Walter Davis) for most of the 80’s. Definitely have to be mentioned here.

SMALL FORWARDS :

The starting SF is Connie Hawkins. One of the best talents to ever play the game. And one of my favorite players. It’s just too bad that Connie never had the NBA career that he was supposed to have. As a matter of fact it’s important to know that Connie never was at 100% during his NBA days. He was UNFAIRLY blacklisted in the NBA for many years, and when he was finally allowed to play in the big league he was 27 and his body was broken by many injuries… It’s still totally unbelievable that he could play at such an incredible level considering those facts. Not only he is the best SF to ever play in Phoenix but he’s also in my opinion the most talented SF ever (he’s not in the discussion for best SF ever because of all the problems that he had, but if he wasn’t blacklisted and injured I am sure that he would be considered as the best SF ever right now, and would even certainly be in the discussion for best player ever).

 

As his back up I picked Walter Davis. Walter was a very good swingman, as I said above he was with Larry Nance the best player of the team during the first part of the 80’s and also the best player of the team with Paul Westphal during the late 70’s. He was a Sun for most of his career and definitely had his best years there, the Suns made the playoffs almost every year with him in the team, and he even led them to two WCF. Walter was also a member of a team made with NBA All Stars (with players like Magic, Thomas, Davis’ teammate Nance, English, Vandeweghe, Coop, etc..) who played against the USA Olympic team in 1984 (several future NBA stars were in that team like Ewing, Robertson, Mullin and of course Michael Jordan).

 

SHOOTING GUARDS :

The starting SG has to be Paul Westphal. Paul is the only Sun to make both Suns Finals appearences. The first time as a player and the second time as a coach… Fun fact Paul made the Finals both times as his first time as a Suns player/Suns coach. Yes Paul is the first player to lead the Suns to the Finals. It was against Boston in 1976 and what a Finals that was… Who knows what would have happened if the Suns had won that legendary game 5 ? Considered by many as the greatest game ever ? The Suns were very close to win this three overtimes game, and Paul was the Sun who had the most memorable plays, he was just heroic in that game and did all what he could to try to make his team win. Unfortunately for him and the Suns the Celtics eventually won this unbelievable game… And the Finals the following one. Paul still is a legend in Phoenix and definitely has to be a starter in that roster.

 

As his back up I picked Dan Majerle. Thunder Dan had his best years in Phoenix, he was All Star there and one of the most important players of the 1993 Suns team. Excellent defender, very good scorer, great shooter, Dan is still a legend in Phoenix and even has his own bar there.

POINT GUARDS :

At PG it has to be Steve Nash. There has been some terrific PGs in Phoenix, Nash, Kidd, KJ.. But Nash has to be the starter. Honestly his palmares in Phoenix is just beyond belief, twice MVP (one of the only two PGs to ever be MVP, the other was Magic of course), three times in a row All NBA first team, five times All Star, and led the Suns to the WCF three times. And it’s also important to say that since his arrival in Phoenix Nash is the heart of the team, thanks to D’Antoni he found a system that was 100% made for him and no doubt that he became a totally different player as Sun, a MUCH better player. It goes for the other way around as well though, Nash was the perfect player for his system and no doubt that it wouldn’t have been that succesful without Steve. They both benefitted from each other. However I want to precise that, as good Nash is, he is not the better PG of the three. Jason Kidd is. I still put Nash over him cause he played much longer in Phoenix and had overall a better success than Jason (this because of better teammates and a system that fitted him perfectly), but there is still no doubt for me that Kidd is the best Suns PG ever and that he is the point guard of the decade. Yes as good as he is Nash cannot be compared to Kidd cause he just does not know to defend. While Kidd is one of the best defensive PGs ever, a case could even be made for him as the best.

 

As his back up I picked Kevin Johnson. I put KJ over Kidd for the same reasons why I put Nash over him as well, Kidd is obviously the better player but he just didn’t stay long enough in Phoenix, and didn’t have enough success. While KJ was one of the key players of the Suns in the 90’s, like Thunder Dan he was an All Star and was a major part of the 93 team that made the Finals. And he spent most of his career as a Sun (except just half a year in Cleveland in his rookie season). Johnson has to be the back up PG.

11th & 12th SPOTS :

For the last two spots I picked Kidd and Van Arsdale. I already talked about Jason Kidd, he’s an obvious choice (even if he was a Sun for only 4 years).

 

Dick Van Arsdale is considered by many as the first true Sun. As a matter of fact he was a member of the very first Suns team (after spending his first three years in New York) and the only one of that team to stay in Phoenix for all of his career. He was a major part of the team for all his career and was also a part of the first Suns team which ever made it to the Finals. Very good defender and scorer, multiple All Stars, Dick couldn’t have dreamed of having a better career. Definitely has to be mentioned in that roster.

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