Each Team’s All-NBA First Team: A 30 Part Series- Part 27 The Phoenix Suns
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine…medium.com
With the hype of the offseason coming to an end, I have decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to examine each team’s specific All-NBA First Team. What I mean by this is- following the criteria set by the NBA for the All-NBA Team rules, I will examine and elaborate on my picks for each team’s specific All-NBA First Team.
G- Steve Nash: 1996–1998, 2004–2012
It goes without saying; Steve Nash is the best player in Phoenix Suns’ history. Not only was he the Suns’ best player during his tenure, he was also one of the best players in the entire NBA.
During his second stint in Phoenix, Nash established himself as the league’s best point guard, winning two MVP awards, appearing in six All-Star games, and was named five All-NBA Teams (3x First Team, 2x Second Team). He led the league in assists six times and free-throw percentage twice.
In his 10 seasons in Phoenix, Nash led them to the playoffs seven times, reaching the Western Conference Finals three times. In 2005, Nash led the Suns to the best record in the Western Conference, tying a franchise record with 62 victories.
Nash’s best season came during the 2006–2007 season, a season in which he didn’t win the MVP. In that season, Nash averaged a career high in points (18.6), assists (11.6), and field goal percentage (53%).
Nash is the Suns’ all-time leader in assists, made three point field goals, and offensive rating. He holds the franchise record for All-NBA Team appearances and MVP awards.
G- Walter Davis: 1977–1988
Prior to Steve Nash’s career with the Suns, Walter Davis had arguably had the best Phoenix Suns’ career. Davis spent his first 11 years in Phoenix, and was the team’s best player for almost his entire tenure, leading them in points, assists, and steals during that span. All six of his All-Star appearances came while in Phoenix. Davis was also named to two All-NBA Second Teams. Davis is the Suns’ all-time leading scorer.
His best season came during his rookie year, a season in which he was not only named the rookie of the year, but also was a member of the All-NBA Second Team. In that season, Davis averaged a career high in points (24.2) and rebounds (6.0), and led the team to the playoffs before suffering an injury.
The Suns were a tremendously successful franchise during the Davis era, making eight playoff appearances (he only played in seven of them due to an injury) in his 11 seasons.
F- Shawn Marion: 1999–2008
Shawn Marion thrived playing for the Mike D’Antoni’s Suns, appearing in four All-Star games and on two All-NBA Third Teams. Marion had his most success as an individual during his eight and a half seasons in Phoenix.
As a member of the Suns, Marion averaged 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. His best season came during the Suns’ magical run to the 2006 Western Conference Finals. In that season, Marion averaged a career high in points (21.8), rebounds (11.8), and blocks (1.7).
Marion is the team’s All-Time leader in defensive rebounds.
F- Charles Barkley: 1992–1996
During the Charles Barkley era, the Suns were among the most dominant teams in the NBA. Upon acquiring Sir Charles, the Suns improved vastly, winning nine more games than the season before, which set the franchise record for wins at 62. In that season, Barkley had one of his most productive years, winning the league MVP, averaging 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game.
In his four seasons in Phoenix, Barkley was not only the Suns’ best player but also one of the five best players in the league. He was a four-time All-Star and a member of four All-NBA Teams (1x First Team, 2x Second Team, 1x Third Team). He averaged 23.4 points (second highest in franchise history), 11.5 rebounds (second highest in franchise history), and 4.4 assists per game during his time in Phoenix. The Suns’ had immense success during the Barkley era, making four playoff appearances.
Despite his short tenure with the team, Barkley’s time in Phoenix should not be overlooked.
C- Amar’e Stoudemire: 2002–2010
After being drafted directly out of high school in 2002, Stoudemire surprised many, immediately contributing to the team, winning the 2002–2003 Rookie Of The Year Award.
In his eight seasons in Phoenix, Stoudemire established himself as one of the leagues more dominant and versatile bigs. In his eight seasons, he was a five-time All-Star and a member of four All-NBA Teams (1x First Team, 3x Second Team). He led the Suns in scoring and rebounding during his tenure, finishing as the team’s leading scorer in every season he played in greater than 60 games.
His best season came during the 2004–2005 season, a season in which he averaged 26 points (a career high), 8.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team and helped the Suns make their first Western Conference Finals appearances in over a decade.
With the exception of Steve Nash, I don’t think any Suns’ player meant as much to the franchise as Stoudemire did during his tenure.