The Phoenix Suns might not have reached their ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship in the 2000’s, but they did return to prominence with seven trips to the playoffs in the past decade. Whether you are a fan of the Suns or not, you must admit that their high-scoring games brought back some of the early 1990’s excitement that the NBA once had. Will the Suns be able to maintain that style in the next decade with their best player of the 2000’s aging and the rest of their stars gone? Here are the best five Phoenix Suns from 2001-2010. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Phoenix Suns from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Steve Nash
How much does Mark Cuban regret letting this guy go? Yes, the Mavs made the NBA Finals without him, but is there anybody that doesn’t think the Mavs would’ve made it to the finals more than once if they had kept Nash. In this case, the Mavs’ loss is very much the Phoenix Suns gain. In six seasons with the Suns, Nash earned himself five All-Star selections and back-to-back MVP Awards. He also led the NBA in assists in four of those six seasons.
2. Amar’e Stoudemire
The Suns drafted Stoudemire with the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. In his first season, Stoudemire put up 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game to haul in the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. While with the Suns, Stoudemire scored 20 or more points seven times and made five NBA All-Star teams.
3. Shawn Marion
The Matrix played all but one of his eight and half seasons on the Suns in the 2000’s. During that span, he averaged over 19 points per game in five seasons and hauled in over 9 rebounds a game in every season. He made four NBA All-Star teams and was chosen for the All-NBA third team twice.
4. Stephon Marbury
Starbury only played 2 ½ seasons with the Suns, but he was in his prime for those seasons. He averaged over 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in all 2 ½ seasons. In 2003, he was chosen to the Western Conference All-Star team for the second time in his career.
5. Raja Bell
Bell played three and half seasons with the Suns before being traded in the middle of the 2008-09 season to the Charlotte Bobcats along with Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary for Jason Richarson, Chris Dudley and a second round pick. Bell was known for being really good at two things; three-point shooting and defense. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First team in 2007 and the NBA All-Defensive Second team in 2008.