NBA - Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, and are the only team in their division not based in California. The Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, where, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988.
Under Johnson, and after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, and combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, and reached the 1993 NBA Finals. However, the team would again fail to win a championship, and entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s.
In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, and immediately returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudemire, and under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, and were forced into another rebuild.
The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns, Barkley and Nash, have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while playing for the team.
The Suns are the only one of Arizona's major professional sports franchises which uses "Phoenix" instead of "Arizona" as its geographical identifier. The National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes used "Phoenix" as their geographical identifier when they moved from other locations, but later changed to "Arizona". Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks have always used the state as its identifier.