The Greatest Suns of All-Time?

Sunday was a bit of a wallow for Suns fans, what with being eliminated from the playoffs, and on national television, to boot.  I know the early-day defeat certainly darkened my day and all the big things I had planned.  Watching reruns of Jersey Shore simply wasn’t as enjoyable.  In my quest to find something to lift my spirits, however, I found something that gave me many hours of fun and introspection: SLAM Magazine’s list of the “500 greatest NBA players of all-time.”

Me being me, on seeing the list, I immediately picked it up and thumbed through, looking for any and all Suns that made the list.  Meaning anyone who suited up for Phoenix at any time in his career.  And there were quite a few, so I thought I’d share them, along with my commentary, where I have some, with you.
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Rays of Sunshine

Gortat is Beechen's best reason to remain hopeful.

A lifelong Phoenix Suns fan, not to mention comic book and cartoon writer, Adam Beechen contributes to Suns.com as a regular “super fan” blogger. [Read more...]

The Nickname Game

(Christian Petersen)

New Suns Center Marcin Gortat’s nickname, “The Polish Hammer,” is one of the better and more amusing nicknames to come through the NBA in recent years. I suppose, on the surface, there’s not much to laugh about…Gortat does hail from Poland, and “Hammer” is an apt description of his physical game, but there’s something about putting the two words together that brings a smile to my face. I want him to get together with ESPN football analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski, who was called “The Polish Rifle” in his playing days, and have a nice chat over some “kotlet schabowy” (that’s breaded pork cutlet, to you and me).

Basketball is a game of great nicknames. Wilt Chamberlain hated being called, “The Stilt,” because he felt it made fun of his height, but he managed to do all right with the ladies anyway. He much preferred to be called, “Dipper,” as in, “The Big.” No comment on how that went over with the fairer sex. [Read more...]

Song for the Unsung Hero

(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Grant Hill likely won’t make the NBA Hall of Fame.

He won’t make first-team All-NBA this season. Or second, or third. He won’t make the All-Star team. He won’t make anyone’s All-Defensive team. The numbers aren’t there.

But has anyone been more important to the Suns this season? [Read more...]

Life Without Steve

(Christian Petersen)

All Suns fans got a good jolt the other night when Steve Nash’s skull collided with Tyson Chandler’s elbow and hip down in Dallas. First and foremost, we were simply concerned for Steve’s health, especially on hearing ominous words like “numbness” and “tingling in extremities.” Once it was clear that Steve was okay and that he was going to be able to return to the court sooner rather than later, Suns fans were left to ponder something else that gave them chills:

Life without Steve Nash. [Read more...]

Remembering Luke

Lots of things come to mind when basketball fans remember Maurice Lucas, one of the truly underappreciated NBA greats, who passed away last weekend at 58 after a battle with cancer. The Phoenix Suns aren’t generally one of those things that come to mind. But Luke, who exemplified the “power” in “power forward,” played for the Suns for three seasons, and I’ll always remember him very fondly.

Luke was just past his prime when the Suns got him from the New York Knicks for another power forward, Truck Robinson, in 1982. Luke was not a prototypical Suns player, as I think of them. The prototypical Suns player, over the years of the team’s existence, has been a graceful, finesse-oriented player, precise and under control, creative and streamlined. I think of Connie Hawkins, Walter Davis, Alvan Adams, Paul Westphal, Larry Nance, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. In some ways, the history of the Suns has been a long quest to find a bona-fide dominant power player to complement those prototypes, and when the Suns have found some good ones (Paul Silas, Charles Barkley, Amar’e Stoudemire), the team has come awfully close to championships. [Read more...]

A Phoenix Suns Wedding

So I got married a few weeks ago, and I wanted to assure Suns fans the team was very much present, as can be seen in these photos (check out my shoes), and the audio clip Suns arena announcer

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. [Read more...]

The Fall Season – What's In, What's Out

The start of football season means one thing to me (and apparently to the Cardinals) – It’s almost basketball season. While most off-season attention has been directed down Florida way (supposedly, Miami picked up a few players), relatively little attention has been paid to the remaking of the Purple Gang. That’s fine with me…I’d relish the opportunity to see a Suns team once again rise above everyone’s expectations, and I think this squad has the potential to do it. So let us pause, before things really get rolling here, to say some final things about those who are leaving us, and those who have set their bags on our figurative doorsteps: [Read more...]

Nobody Told These Guys

Don’t they know these are the Lakers?

Don’t they know this is the best team in NBA history, with the best lineup of 2009-2010, with celebrities at courtside, with the heir to Michael Jordan, with unstoppable length and size and will and determination and championship experience? Don’t they know they got smashed in Game 1, gave Game 2 their best shot and got smashed in the fourth quarter, and allowed the Lakers to do whatever they wanted on offense? Don’t they know their an appetizer for a main course of Boston?

Nobody told these Phoenix Suns. [Read more...]

Cue The Imperial March

(Christian Petersen/NBAE/Getty Images)

And so, here we are.  Having defeated Darth Vader, we come face to face with the Emperor.

You can feel the contempt.  You can taste the air of superiority.  You can sense the arrogance.  You can hear them saying they can’t fail.  You can see them looking past our shoulders to Boston or Orlando.

Good grief, do I despise the Lakers. [Read more...]