10 Things From Phoenix Suns History That NBA Fans Should Know – TheSportster

The Phoenix Suns have a storied history in the NBA and there’s a lot that fans should know about it.
That striking image of a basketball shooting across the sky is one that will forever remain in the history of Phoenix. The Suns may not be the most successful NBA team around, but they have made some serious strides in recent years, going from relative mediocrity to a top contender for the NBA Championship.
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Whether decked out in purple or orange, the Phoenix Suns have been crushing it in the western conference. While there is a lot of excitement around the team these days, that doesn’t mean that their past doesn’t deserve just as much attention by the biggest fans of both the team and basketball in general.
Getting a start as a team in the NBA really isn’t an easy thing. There is a lot that has to be dealt with by the NBA higher-ups themselves, and then there’s the whole issue of not being a terrible team upon entry into the league.
Some wanted to bring the NBA to Phoenix, but others argued that the market was too small, and Arizona wasn’t the kind of place players wanted to be. Luckily, passion prevailed and eventually, the NBA granted Phoenix its own franchise in the NBA.
It’s an unenviable position to be a brand-new NBA team playing its first season. It’s rare that any of them perform decently, leading to most people being shocked when a new team manages to even win a single game.
That exact thing was true of the Suns during their first season as they really had a rough time. They only managed to win 16 games in their first season, giving them 66 losses to enjoy. If it wasn’t already clear, the Suns were nowhere near the playoffs, although, the team did reach the playoffs in their second season.
When expansions happen, it’s usually to introduce a few teams to new markets or to old markets that had a history of strong basketball support. While Phoenix joined the league in 1968, they weren’t the only team. The Milwaukee Bucks also joined the league that season.
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Sadly, Phoenix would mostly struggle for relevance until the mid-seventies, while the Bucks would quickly pick up one of the greatest NBA players of all time in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and find almost immediate success. All that, thanks to Phoenix losing a coin toss for the rights to the first pick in the NBA Draft.
Sure, to each city, their mascot is iconic, but The Suns’ mascot is so iconic that he’s likely one of the best-known in the league, especially in the nineties. Their hilarious gorilla mascot Go became a staple of the franchise thanks to the hilarious performances and daring stunts that would be performed.
The mascot became so famous in the nineties that it was even included in a video game. Basketball fans probably remember NBA Jam, well the gorilla was a secret playable character in the game that fans loved to try out.
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The Phoenix Suns were on a relatively hot streak from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. They were constant playoffs contenders and often put on some of the most exciting games in the league.
The issue is, there was a bit of a drug mishap that tainted the view of the franchise during that time. The story is a bit of a mess, and these days, people seem to think it was really a lot of nothing, but regardless, the scandal ended up negatively impacting The Suns’ image in a way that was difficult to recover from.
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It’s probably fair to say that most people are happy with the Phoenix Suns name. The team being known as The Suns wasn’t always a sure thing though. When the team was being created, more than a few unique names were in the running.
Before they decided on The Suns, names like Thunderbirds, Wranglers, Tumbleweeds, Rattlers, and Scorpions were all thrown around. When most people hear those other names, they’re quite happy that the team ended up deciding on The Suns. "The Phoenix Tumbleweeds" just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way.
A game entering triple-overtime is already a bit of a rarity, so them occurring during the NBA Finals is likely to be even more of a rarity. With that said, somehow The Suns have battled so fiercely with opponents in the NBA Finals that they’ve gone to triple-overtime on two separate occasions.
The first triple-overtime was in a struggle against the dominant Boston Celtics of the seventies, and the second was against the dominant Chicago Bulls of the nineties. Both games are nail biters and are well worth experiencing if you can find a way to watch them.
As previously mentioned, The Suns have come close to bringing home the NBA Championship before. The thing is, every time they make it to the NBA Finals, they also end up losing their series 4-2.
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They had a shot against The Celtics in their 1975-1976 season, and then another against The Bulls in the 1992-1993 season. Much later down the line, they had another chance in the 2020-2021 season against The Bucks, but again, they would ultimately lose. The team is still strong, leading fans to dream of a modern-day NBA Championship.
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Older fans of the Phoenix Suns will probably remember the Steve Nash era. He did a lot to help the team but was unable to bring them great success. Before he became loved by Phoenix, he was actually kind of hated.
The Suns picked him in the 1996 NBA Draft, something that fans weren’t happy about considering Nash hadn’t done much of note in college. He was soon traded away, but he would later be brought back to become a team MVP and one of the best players in the league.
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made in order to improve a team. The Suns traded away quite a few players and a first-round draft pick in order to bring Chris Paul to the team. It worked out, and the pair of Chris Paul and Devin Booker has been on fire.
With Deandre Ayton further as their center, the team is looking incredibly strong on paper. It’ll be up to those men to make some big plays in order to bring home some major wins. If recent seasons are any indicators, The Phoenix Suns might be able to call themselves NBA Champions very soon.
Cameron Miller is a writer with over five years of creative writing experience – both personally and for clients around the world.


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