The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns are a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Suns play their home games at the Footprint Center.
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. However, they lost to the Boston Celtics in six games. 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, as they fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games, 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 became known as "Seven Seconds or Less", and it 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.
Phoenix would go ten consecutive seasons without a playoff berth, ending the dubious streak in 2021. Behind all-star efforts from Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton, the Suns would earn their first conference title in nearly three decades, advancing to the 2021 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, have the second-highest winning percentage among teams that have never won an NBA championship, and also have the most NBA Finals appearances of teams without an NBA title. Ten 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 their identifier.
- 1 Home arenas
- 2 Franchise history
- 2.1 Team creation
- 2.2 1968–1976: Early years
- 2.3 1976–1988: From success to scandals
- 2.4 1988–1992: The Kevin Johnson era
- 2.5 1992–1996: The Charles Barkley era
- 2.6 1996–2004: Average times
- 2.7 2004–2012: The Steve Nash era
- 2.8 2012–2015: Decline and struggles
- 2.9 2015–present: The Devin Booker era
- 3 Uniforms
- 4 Season-by-Season Records
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Sources
- 7 Players of note
- 8 External links
- Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1968–1992)
- Footprint Center (formerly known as America West Arena, US Airways Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena, and Phoenix Suns Arena) (1992–present)
The Suns were one of two franchises to join the NBA at the start of the 1968-69 season, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They were the first major professional sports franchise in the Phoenix market and in the entire state of Arizona, and remained the only one for the better part of 20 years (a Phoenix Roadrunners team played in the World Hockey Association from 1974 to 1977) until the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League relocated from St. Louis in 1988. The Suns played its first 24 seasons at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, called the "Madhouse on McDowell", located slightly Northwest of Downtown Phoenix. The franchise was formed by an ownership group led by Karl Eller, owner of a public enterprise, the investor Donald Pitt, Don Diamond, Bhavik Darji, Marvin Meyer, and Richard Bloch. Other owners with a minority stake consisted of entertainers, such as Andy Williams, Bobbie Gentry, and Ed Ames. There were many critics, including then-NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy, who said that Phoenix was "too hot", "too small", and "too far away" to be considered a successful NBA market. This was despite the fact that the Phoenix metropolitan area was growing rapidly, and the Suns would have built-in geographical foes in places like in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
After continual prodding by Bloch (who became president of the Phoenix Suns), in 1968 the NBA Board of Governors granted franchises to Phoenix and Milwaukee on January 22, 1968 with an entry fee of $2 million. The Suns nickname was among 28,000 entries that were formally chosen in a name-the-team contest sponsored by The Arizona Republic, with the winner awarded $1,000 and season tickets for the inaugural season. Suns was preferred over Scorpions, Rattlers, Thunderbirds, Wranglers, Mavericks, Tumbleweeds, Mustangs, and Cougars. Stan Fabe, who owned a commercial printing plant in Tucson, designed the team's first iconic logo for a mere $200; this was after the team paid $5,000 to a local artist to design the team's logo. However, they were disappointed with the results.
In the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft, notable Suns' pickups were future Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich and Dick Van Arsdale.
1968–1976: Early years
Jerry Colangelo, then a player scout, came over from the Chicago Bulls, a franchise formed two years earlier, as the Suns' first general manager at the age of 28, along with Johnny "Red" Kerr as head coach. Unlike the first-year success that Colangelo and Kerr had in Chicago, in which the Bulls finished with a first-year expansion record of 33 wins and a playoff berth (plus a Coach of the Year award for Kerr), Phoenix finished its first year at 16–66, and finished 25 games out of the final playoff spot.
Both Goodrich and Van Arsdale were selected to the All-Star Game in their first season with the Suns. Goodrich returned to his former team, the Lakers, after two seasons with the Suns, but Van Arsdale spent the rest of his playing days as a Sun and a one-time head coach for Phoenix.
The Suns' last-place finish that season led to a coin flip for the number-one overall pick for the 1969 NBA draft with the expansion-mate Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee won the flip, and the rights to draft UCLA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor), while Phoenix settled on drafting center Neal Walk from Florida. The 1969–70 season posted better results for the Suns, finishing 39–43, but losing to the eventual Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. The next two seasons (1970–71 and 1971–72), the Suns finished with 48- and 49-win seasons, but did not qualify for the playoffs in either year, and did not reach the playoffs again until 1976.
1975–1976: Trip to the NBA Finals
The 1975–76 season proved to be a pivotal year for the Suns as they made several key moves, including the offseason trade of former All-Star guard Charlie Scott to the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Paul Westphal, a member of Boston's 1974 championship team. They also drafted center and eventual fan favorite Alvan Adams from the University of Oklahoma and guard Ricky Sobers of UNLV. The Suns and Buffalo Braves made a midseason trade, with Phoenix sending forward/center John Shumate to Buffalo in exchange for forward Garfield Heard.
Phoenix had an inconsistent regular season, starting out at 14–9 (then the best start in team history), then went 4–18 during a stretch where the team sustained several injuries (including Dick Van Arsdale breaking his right arm in a February game). The Suns then went 24–13 in the final 37 games to finish 42–40, clinching their first playoff spot since 1970. The Suns faced the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, winning the series four games to two, and beat the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, four games to three, to advance to their first NBA Finals.
The Suns faced an experienced Boston Celtics team, led by eventual Hall of Famers Dave Cowens and John Havlicek. Game five of the 1976 NBA Finals took place at Boston Garden, where the Suns came back from a 22-point first-half deficit to force overtime. Havlicek made what was supposed to be a game-winning basket, but due to fans rushing the floor before time officially expired, officials put one second back on the clock with Phoenix having possession of the ball, but under their own basket. Instead of attempting a desperation heave, the Suns' Westphal intentionally called a timeout that they did not have, a technical foul, giving the Celtics a free throw, which Jo Jo White converted to put them up 112–110. However, this advanced the ball to half-court, and once the Suns had possession, Gar Heard made a buzzer-beating turnaround jump shot to force a third overtime. The Suns' hard-fought battle was short-lived, as Boston's reserve player Glenn McDonald scored six of his eight points in the third overtime to lead the Celtics to a 128–126 win. Boston eventually won the series in six games, clinching the championship at the Coliseum, defeating Phoenix in game six, 87–80.
1976–1988: From success to scandals
In the late '70s and early '80s, the Suns enjoyed several successful seasons, making the playoffs for 8 seasons in a row. Problems arose, however, on and off court, in the mid '80s. In 1987 the Maricopa County Attorney's Office indicted 13 people on drug-related charges, three of whom were active Suns players (James Edwards, Jay Humphries and Grant Gondrezick). These indictments were partially based on testimony from star player Walter Davis, who was given immunity. No defendants ever went to trial: two of the players went into a prosecution diversion program, while another received probation. Nevertheless, the scandal, although now perceived in many respects to be a witch hunt, tarnished the reputation of the franchise both nationally and within the community. The scandal did provide an opening for general manager Colangelo to lead a group that bought the team from its owners for $44 million, a record at that time.
With a drug scandal and the loss of promising young center Nick Vanos, who was killed in the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255 after taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the franchise was in turmoil on and off the court.
1988–1992: The Kevin Johnson era
This was the beginning of a franchise-record 13 consecutive playoff appearances. All-Star Tom Chambers came over from the Seattle SuperSonics (the first unrestricted free agent in NBA history), 1986 second round draft pick Jeff Hornacek continued to develop, and "Thunder" Dan Majerle was drafted with the 14th pick in the 1988 draft. Kurt Rambis was added from the Charlotte Hornets in 1989, and the team upset the top-seeded and defending two-time Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers in five games during the playoffs that season, before falling to the eventual Western Conference Champion Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. In 1990–91, the Suns went 55–27 but lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz, 3–1. In 1991–92, the Suns went 53–29. Having sent four players to the All-Star Game in the previous two seasons (Chambers, Johnson, Hornacek, and Majerle), the Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs in three games in the first round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs. The Suns then were defeated in five games to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Conference Semifinals. The series was punctuated by a game four in which the Suns lost in double overtime 153–151 (the highest scoring game in NBA Playoff history to-date). That game was the last Suns game ever played at the Coliseum.
1992–1996: The Charles Barkley era
In 1992, the Suns moved into their new state-of-the-art arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena. The arena is occasionally referred to as the "Purple Palace" due to its purple seats, one of the Suns' colors. With the added revenue the Suns were now enjoying from their new facility, this allowed them to make some major roster moves. It started with the addition of flamboyant all-star power forward Charles Barkley who was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry. The luring of Barkley, one of the major national stars of the NBA, to Phoenix - one of the "small markets" in the minds of the primarily New York-centered sports media - was considered at the time to be huge. Many Suns fans believe that the addition of Barkley, "put Phoenix on the map". Barkley would go on to win his first and only MVP his first year with Phoenix in 1993.
In addition to Barkley, the Suns added some key players to their roster including former Boston Celtic Danny Ainge and drafted two young promising performers in University of Arkansas center Oliver Miller and forward Richard Dumas (who was actually drafted in 1991, but was suspended for his rookie year for violating the NBA drug policy). The Suns had a dynamic team that was hard to stop and captured the attention of fans not only in Phoenix, but across the entire state of Arizona and the nation as well.
Under rookie head coach Paul Westphal (a former Suns assistant and as a player and member of the 1976 Suns squad that went to the NBA Finals), the Suns squad consisting mostly of Barkey, Majerle, Johnson and Ainge won 62 games that year. After eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and Seattle SuperSonics, the Suns advanced to the Finals for the second time in franchise history. They eventually lost in dramatic fashion to the Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. This series included a triple-overtime game (Game 3); the Suns have been involved in both of the two longest-ever NBA Finals games. Thousands of fans later flocked the streets of Phoenix in a "victory" celebration of sorts, in appreciation of a memorable season.
The Suns continued to show great regular season success, going 178–68 during the 1992–93, 1993–94, and 1994–95 seasons. They continued to bolster their roster adding players such as A.C. Green, Danny Manning, Elliot Perry, and Wesley Person. Despite a Pacific Division title in 1995, the Suns ended up being eliminated in consecutive Western Conference Semifinal rounds at the hands of the Houston Rockets. In both years, the Suns led the series by two games at one point (2–0 in 1994, 3–1 in 1995) only to see the Rockets come back to win the matchup.
At the end of the 1994–95 season, Phoenix Suns general manager, Bryan Colangelo (son of Jerry) initiated what proved to be a very costly trade, sending all star guard/forward Dan Majerle and a first round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for John "Hot Rod" Williams. Majerle was a favorite amongst the fans in Phoenix as well as the Suns locker room. The trade was made to address the Suns' desperate need of a shot blocking center, but it proved in time to be unbeneficial as Majerle's presence was sorely missed, and Williams's production never met expectations.
The 1995–96 season turned into a very disappointing year for the Suns in which they posted a 41–41 record, and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs. Westphal was fired mid-way through the season and replaced once again by Fitzsimmons. A combination of front office unrest, along with the dwindling possibility of winning a championship lead to turmoil in Barkley's relationship with Jerry Colangelo who both spurned each other publicly. This led to Barkley being traded to the Houston Rockets for Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Mark Bryant, and Chucky Brown, but the trade turned out be very unproductive for either team, as Barkley's best years were behind him in Houston, as age and physical ability quickly caught up with an already aging Rockets team. As for the Suns, three of the four players were not with the franchise just one year later, and furthermore the two most talented players (being Horry and Cassell) constantly clashed with the coach and seemed to be a negative influence in the locker room. (The feud between Barkley and Colangelo has since been repaired, and Barkley has appeared at a number of Suns home games in the years since. He was also present to see his number retired into the Suns "Ring Of Honor" in 2004.)
1996–2004: Average times
In the 1996 NBA Draft, the Suns used their 15th pick for guard Steve Nash from Canada by way of Santa Clara University. Upon hearing the draft announcement, Suns fans booed in disapproval of the relatively unknown player, due to the fact that he played in the West Coast Conference, then as now considered a mid-major conference (notwithstanding the rise of WCC member Gonzaga to national prominence in the 21st century).  During his first two seasons in the NBA, he played a supporting role behind NBA star point guards Jason Kidd and Kevin Johnson. On June 25, 1998, Nash was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks in exchange for Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, the draft rights to Pat Garrity, and a first-round draft pick which was later used to select Shawn Marion.
After the trade, the Suns began the 1996–97 miserably starting 0–13 which was a franchise record for the worst start. During the 13 game losing streak, Fitzsimmons stepped down as coach and was replaced by former player Danny Ainge.
After an on the court altercation between Ainge and Horry, Horry was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for former Sun and NBA all-star Cedric Ceballos. Cassell was later traded to Dallas for all-star guard Jason Kidd. With a mostly small lineup, the Suns put together an 11 game win streak that put them in the playoffs, in a series that almost upset the highly favored Sonics.
In the off-season before the 2000 NBA season, the Suns traded for perennial All-Star Anfernee Hardaway (also known as "Penny" Hardaway) stirring a large amount of hype by creating the tandem of Kidd and Hardaway, which was called "Backcourt 2000". However, the combination of Hardaway and Kidd was never fully realized as Hardaway would miss a number of games during the middle of the 1999–2000 season and Kidd would break his ankle going into the playoffs just as Hardaway began his return to the court. As the Suns, now led by the returned Hardaway entered the 2000 playoffs, they shocked the favored San Antonio Spurs by ousting them from the playoffs 3–1 in the best of five series. However, even with the return of Kidd at Hardaway's side in the next round, the Suns fell to the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in a 4–1 series.
The Suns continued to make the playoffs until the 2001–02 campaign, when they fell short for the first time in 14 years. That season marked the trade of Jason Kidd, partly due to a publicized domestic violence episode, to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury. Lottery-bound, however, the Suns were able to draft Amare Stoudemire.
The 2002–03 campaign saw the emergence of Amar'e Stoudemire, who many have likened to Hall of Fame forward/center Moses Malone. His size and athleticism, along with a strong work ethic, have many anticipating him to join the ranks of Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett as the best NBA players to have jumped from high school to the pro ranks. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2002-03 season, during which the Suns posted a record of 44-38 and returned to the playoffs. The Suns were eliminated in the first round once again by the San Antonio Spurs, but only after a six game series in which the Suns played the eventual NBA champions surprisingly close.
In the 2003–04 season, the Suns again found themselves out of the playoffs. Following one of the worst pre-seasons in Suns franchise history, the Suns got off to a rocky start in the regular season. Convinced that the team was going nowhere, the Suns made a blockbuster mid-season trade sending Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway off to the New York Knicks. After the trade, the Suns continued to struggle, but the trade opened up opportunities for some of the Sun's young rising stars.
2004–2012: The Steve Nash era
2004–2006: Nash wins back-to-back MVPs
The beginning of 2004 saw the departure of the face of Suns management since the team's inception, when Jerry Colangelo announced that the Phoenix Suns were to be sold to an investment group headed by San Diego-based business executive (and Tucson native) Robert Sarver for $401 million. However, the 2004-05 season marked the Suns' return to the NBA's elite, with the Suns finishing with the best record in the NBA at 62-20, tying their franchise record that was set by the 1992-93 team. This feat was made possible by the offseason re-acquisition of All-Star point guard and former Sun Steve Nash from Dallas. Nash would go on to win the MVP award that season. Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion were named All-Stars this year and first year coach, Mike D'Antoni, was named NBA Coach of the Year.
In the 2005 playoffs, Phoenix was the first seed in the Western Conference, and because it owned the NBA's best record, it was guaranteed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Suns swept the Memphis Grizzlies 4-0 and defeated the number fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the second round 4-2, Steve Nash forcing Game 6 into OT with a 3-pointer in the dying seconds. In the Western Conference Finals, the Suns played the San Antonio Spurs who won the series 4-1, ending Phoenix's outstanding season. The Suns narrowly lost the first 2 at home fell behind 3-0 in the series, but won Game 4 in San Antonio 111-106, but were eliminated at home 101-95. Amar'e Stoudemire averaged a staggering 37.0 ppg, the highest ever by a player in their first Conference Finals.
The 2005-06 season began on an incredibly sour note when Stoudemire underwent microfracture knee surgery on October 18, 2005. He missed all, but three games that year. Along with that, promising shooting guard Joe Johnson demanded a trade to the Atlanta Hawks, in which the Suns got Boris Diaw along with two future first round picks. Other acquisitions this year included Raja Bell and Kurt Thomas. Despite the turnover in players, the Suns were once again able to win the Pacific going 54-28 and capturing the second seed in the Western Conference. Steve Nash was awarded his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the second point-guard (Magic Johnson was the first) to win the award multiple times. Also, Boris Diaw was named NBA Most Improved Player.
The Suns began the 2006 Western Conference Playoffs as favorites against the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning Game 1 in Phoenix, they found themselves trailing in the series 3–1 after impressive performances by Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant. However, the Suns went on to win three straight games. They won Game 5 easily at home and Game 6 in OT, their first OT win all season despite 50 points from Bryant and Raja Bell out serving a one-game suspension (for a flagrant foul against Bryant in Game 5) with last second help from midseason acquisition Tim Thomas. On their home court, the Suns won Game 7 121–90, eliminating the Lakers for the first time since 1993. The Suns are 1 of 9 teams in NBA history to win a playoff series after being behind 3–1.
In the second round, the Suns faced the Lakers' crosstown rival and Staples Center co-tenant, the Los Angeles Clippers. The series was a see-saw, with both teams trading games on each others' courts. The series was 2–2 and The Suns faced a huge deficit in Game 5 but fought back and won in double OT and after a Game 6 loss finally won the series in the decisive seventh game on their home court at US Airways Center, winning by a margin of 20 with an NBA record 15 3-point FG's May 22, 2006.
They went on to play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Underdogs this time, The Suns took Game 1 in Dallas by a single point and their May 30 victory in Game 4 marked the most wins thus far for the franchise in a Conference Finals series since the 1993 season. Many credit this success (despite losing Stoudemire) to the emergence of Diaw, Bell (injured for most of this series), and Barbosa as clutch playoff performers; and an overall team depth they did not possess at all last season. The Suns fought hard in Games 5 and 6, but clearly missed the injured Raja Bell's hot shooting and defense and were finally eliminated from the series on June 3, 2006 in Game 6.
2006–2008: "Seven seconds or less"
In the 2006 offseason, the Suns signed Minnesota Timberwolves PG Marcus Banks to a five-year contract worth about $21 million. Also, the Suns signed guard Leandro Barbosa to a five-year contract extension beginning in the 2007-08 season worth approximately $33 million. Boris Diaw was also extended to a five-year deal worth approximately $45 million.
Under coach D'Antoni, the Suns popularized the fast break offense known as 7 seconds or less, which was later published in a book written by Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum. Though criticized for a supposed lack of defense, the Suns specialized an efficient offense designed to quickly get off shots that made regrouping on defense difficult for the opposing team.
The Suns entered the 2006–07 season aiming to win the first championship in franchise history. From November 20 to December 22, the Suns posted a 15-game win streak, followed almost immediately with a 17-game win streak from December 29 to January 28. On March 14, the 49–14 Suns met the 52–10 Dallas Mavericks in a match-up where both teams were fighting for the top seed in the Western conference and Nash was going for his third consecutive MVP award against Dirk Nowitzki. Though the Suns won the game in double overtime, the Mavericks would finish with the West's top seed at 67–15, and Nowitzki would narrowly win the MVP award ahead of Nash.
While the Mavericks were upset in the first round by the eight-seed Golden State Warriors, the 61–21 Suns once again swiftly dispatched Bryant and the Lakers in five games in the opening round of the playoffs. This set up a rematch of the 2005 Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. The series saw the Spurs defeat the Suns in six games, in what many called "the real finals" of the 2006–07 season. The Spurs went on to win the championship that year, sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games in the NBA Finals to win the franchise's fourth NBA championship.
On June 6, former TNT TV analyst and NBA three-point specialist Steve Kerr was appointed Suns' general manager and president of basketball operations. Kerr was also a part of the Sarver-led investment group that purchased the franchise from Jerry Colangelo. His first off-season signing was former Orlando Magic Small Forward Grant Hill on a one-year $1.8 million deal with a player option for a second season at $2 million. Hill, who was previously considered injury-prone, played in the majority of games over the next four seasons as a starter.
The Suns finished 55–27 on the season, two games behind the Lakers, who won the division. In the opening round of the playoffs, the Suns lost to the Spurs in five games, the first time they did not advance past the first round in the D'Antoni-Nash era. Some have attributed this to the mid-season acquisition of aging former MVP Shaquille O'Neal for four-time All Star Shawn Marion. Though O'Neal was brought in as a physical presence to match with the likes of the Spurs' Tim Duncan, the move all, but ended their fast-paced offense which had brought them to the cusp of a Finals appearance.
On May 11, 2008, Suns' head coach Mike D'Antoni left the team and signed with the New York Knicks.
2008–2010: Ups and downs
On June 9, 2008, Terry Porter was named head coach of the Phoenix Suns, succeeding Mike D'Antoni. Porter was an assistant coach of the Detroit Pistons when he was let go after the Pistons were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. During the off-season, the Suns had difficulties signing free agents because of being over the luxury tax. They made attempts to sign a backup point guard, Tyronn Lue; however, he decided to sign with the Bucks for more money. The Suns selected Robin Lopez (15th overall pick out of Stanford) in the 2008 NBA Draft and acquired Goran Dragić, who was originally picked by the rival Spurs.
On February 16, 2009, the Suns fired Porter and he was succeeded by Alvin Gentry. The Suns were expected to make the transition back to the up-tempo style basketball nicknamed the "7 Seconds or Less" or "Run and Gun" style. On February 18, Gentry began his head coaching tenure with a 140–100 blowout over the Clippers at home. Six Suns players scored in double digits, led by Leandro Barbosa's 24 points. The Suns led by as much as 50 points during the game and were without their swingman Jason Richardson who was serving a one-game suspension. However, this offense cost them their defense, allowing over 107 points per game, 27th in the league. The Suns scored 140 in the next two games. On February 20, Amar'e Stoudemire underwent eye surgery and was out for eight weeks. They went 18–13 under Gentry in the last 31 games. At the end of the season, the Suns missed the playoffs with a 46–36 record.
During the 2009–10 season, the Suns played a far more balanced style of basketball and finished with a 54–28 record. The Suns advanced to the Western Conference Finals, eliminating the Portland Trail Blazers in six games and the San Antonio Spurs in four games, including an explosive performance by Goran Dragić in game three against the Spurs, scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter. The Suns faced the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the defending and eventual champion in six games.
On June 15, 2010, Kerr resigned as general manager of the Suns and opted to return as an analyst for TNT effective June 30, 2010. In the wake of Kerr's decision to leave the club, senior vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told managing partner Robert Sarver that he did not want to be a candidate to replace Kerr and left when his contract expired on June 30. The last moves of both Kerr and Griffin were drafting players Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins with the second round draft picks that they had in the pp2010 NBA Draft]].
2010–2012: Slow decline without Amar'e
The Suns re-signed Amar'e Stoudemire in the 2010 free agency period with a five-year contract for around $95 million, with $71 million guaranteed, and the rest of his salary coming only if certain conditions were held, such as getting guaranteed 4th and 5th-season money if he remained healthy enough to meet those conditions. However, during the summer of 2010, the Suns let Stoudemire go to the New York Knicks since they were guaranteeing him $100 million and hired player agent Lon Babby as president of basketball operations. The team then paid over $80 million to acquire Hedo Türkoğlu, Josh Childress, and Hakim Warrick to not only replace Stoudemire but also add bench depth. On August 5, 2010, the Suns hired Lance Blanks as general manager. On December 19, 2010, the Suns acquired Vince Carter, Mickaël Piétrus, and Marcin Gortat from the Orlando Magic, along with a low draft pick and cash considerations. For this acquisition, the Suns traded Jason Richardson, Earl Clark, and the recently acquired Hedo Türkoğlu. On February 24, 2011, the Suns acquired point guard Aaron Brooks, trading first round (lottery-protected) draft pick and point guard Goran Dragić to the Houston Rockets. The Suns ended the 2010–11 season with a losing record and missed the playoffs.
In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Suns used their 13th pick on Markieff Morris, a 6' 10" power forward from the Kansas Jayhawks. Markieff is the twin brother of Marcus Morris, who played together for three years at Kansas. In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Suns used their 13th pick to select Kendall Marshall, a 6' 4" point guard from the North Carolina Tar Heels. Marshall was a prolific passer in his two seasons at North Carolina; setting the ACC and North Carolina season assist records, along with winning the Bob Cousy Award in his sophomore season with the Tar Heels.
2012–2015: Decline and struggles
During the 2012 free agency period, the Suns traded Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for first round picks in 2013 and 2015, as well as second round picks in 2013 and 2014. After the trade, the Suns then re-acquired point guard Goran Dragić from Houston, signed Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, and claimed Houston forward Luis Scola off amnesty waivers while also using the same amnesty clause (as codified in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement) to waive Josh Childress. They also did a three-way trade with the New Orleans Hornets and the Timberwolves by trading Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the Hornets and a 2014 second rounder to the Timberwolves in exchange for Wesley Johnson, a top 14-protected future first rounder and the rights to Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson. The latter two players' rights were later waived and the Suns then signed Jermaine O'Neal for one year. The Suns also signed P.J. Tucker based on his performance with the Suns' Summer League team. On September 20, it was announced that Channing Frye had dilated cardiomyopathy and as a result, he missed the entire 2012–13 season, although he sometimes made special appearances to do the pre-game show for local Suns games with Tom Leander and Tom Chambers. On January 12, 2013, the Suns became the fourth-fastest NBA team to win 2,000 games with a 97–81 road victory against the Chicago Bulls, which also marked the last victory for Alvin Gentry as head coach for the Suns. On January 18, 2013, the day after a loss that broke a 24-home-game winning streak against the Milwaukee Bucks, Gentry agreed to leave the Phoenix Suns organization. Two days later, player development coach Lindsey Hunter was named interim head coach role for the remainder of the season. A few days later, assistant head coaches Dan Majerle and Elston Turner had also resigned from their positions. On February 21, 2013, the Suns had traded their 2013 second round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Marcus Morris, the twin brother of power forward Markieff Morris. A day later, the Suns traded Point Guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Iranian center Hamed Haddadi and a 2014 second round pick. The Suns ended their first post-Steve Nash season with a 25–57 win-loss record, their second-worst record in franchise history behind only their inaugural season.
2013–2018: Ryan McDonough's tenure
On April 22, 2013, it was announced that the Suns had fired general manager Lance Blanks. On May 7, 2013, former Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough was announced as the new general manager of the Suns. On May 26, 2013, the Suns hired Jeff Hornacek as their head coach to replace interim head coach Lindsey Hunter. The team also started the new season with new modified logos, replacing most of the purple on their logos with black, although purple would still be found on their jerseys.
In the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, the Suns selected Ukrainian center Alex Len from the Maryland with their 5th pick and Power Forward Alex Oriakhi from the Missouri with their 57th pick. Although the Suns were expected to have a poor season, they began the season with a 19–11 record. Eric Bledsoe then went down against the Los Angeles Clippers with a torn meniscus and missed the following 33 games. The Suns went 17–16 during his absence led by Goran Dragić, keeping Phoenix in the playoff race with the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. At 47–32 while Dallas and Memphis were both 48–32, Phoenix lost against both teams before they defeated the Sacramento Kings to finish the season 48–34. Dallas finished 49–33 and Memphis finished 50–32, resulting in Memphis finishing with the seventh seed, Dallas with the eighth, and Phoenix out of the playoffs.
During the 2014 NBA Draft, the Suns drafted sophomore forward T. J. Warren from NC State, Canadian freshman point guard Tyler Ennis from Syracuse, Serbian shooting guard Bodgan Bogdanović, and senior center-power forward Alec Brown from Wisconsin-Green Bay. After trying to obtain players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh, and losing Channing Frye to the Orlando Magic, the Suns decided to sign-and-trade for Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas under a four-year contract worth $27 million in exchange for Alex Oriakhi, using a $7 million traded-player exception. On September 24, 2014, the Suns and Eric Bledsoe agreed on a five-year contract worth $70 million. A couple of days after, on September 29, 2014, they extended both Markieff and Marcus Morris to four-year deals that combine to $52 million, with Markieff earning $32 million and Marcus getting the remaining $20 million. Right before the trade deadline on February 19, 2015, the Suns made moves to change the roster. After demanding a trade due to lingering frustrations with the front office and direction of the team, Goran Dragić and his brother Zoran were traded by the Suns to the Miami Heat for Danny Granger and Miami's 2017 and 2021 first round picks in a three-team trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. Immediately after the trade, the Suns replaced Dragić by trading for Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight, sending Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee to Milwaukee and the Lakers' 2015 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Isaiah Thomas was then traded to the Boston Celtics for Marcus Thornton and the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2016 first round pick.
2015–present: The Devin Booker era
In the 2015 NBA Draft, the Suns drafted Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker with the 13th pick. He was the youngest player drafted at the time by the Suns at 18 years old, and debuted two days before his 19th birthday against the Dallas Mavericks. On July 1, 2015, the Suns retained the rights of Brandon Knight under an offer similar to that of Eric Bledsoe's, and signed Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler to a four-year deal worth $52 million. A day later, the Suns traded Markieff's brother, Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Danny Granger to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for their 2020 second round selection. However, star player Eric Bledsoe sustained a season-ending injury on December 26, 2015.
On February 1, 2016, the Suns relieved Jeff Hornacek of his duties as head coach. Former NBA player Earl Watson took on interim head coaching duties. The Suns traded the disgruntled Markieff Morris on February 19, 2016, to the Washington Wizards for Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair, and the Wizards' first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. On March 14, 2016, the Suns were eliminated from playoff contention for a sixth straight season making it the longest drought in franchise history surpassing the five straight misses from the 1970-71 to the 1974-75 seasons However, rookie Devin Booker went from being a sixth-man off the bench player for Kentucky to future impact player after the injuries to Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. He earned the team's first NBA All-Rookie Team honors since Amar'e Stoudemire back in 2003. Earl Watson officially became the full-time head coach on April 19, 2016, with his new assistant coaches Jay Triano, former Suns player Tyrone Corbin, Marlon Garnett, and Scott Duncan replacing most of the assistant coaches from the previous season. During the 2016 NBA Draft, the Suns drafted the 18-year-old Bosnian-born Croatian forward-center Dragan Bender, Washington power forward Marquese Chriss, and Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis; Chriss was acquired by trading the Suns' 13th and 28th selections, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and the Pistons' 2020 second round pick to the Sacramento Kings. During the 2016 free agency period, the Suns regained former players and fan-favorites Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa under new deals.
While the Suns ended the 2016–17 season with only a slight improvement from their previous record despite the return of Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker continued to improve in his second season with the team, leading the team in points scored at 22.1 per game. Marquese Chriss was also named to the All-Rookie Second Team that season.
In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Suns dropped to the 4th pick in the draft and selected Josh Jackson from Kansas. On October 22, 2017, head coach Earl Watson was fired after a 0–3 start that included two losses of 40+ point deficits, which led to Jay Triano being promoted to interim head coach. On November 7, Bledsoe was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Greg Monroe and a protected first and second round draft pick. The Suns ended the season with the second-worst record in franchise history at 21–61. After the season concluded, the Suns let go of interim head coach Triano and hired Igor Kokoškov as the team's new head coach. The Suns earned their first no. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft lottery after ending the season with the league-worst record that year. With the first overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Phoenix selected Deandre Ayton. They would also trade up into the top 10 that year to take Mikal Bridges with the 10th pick from the Philadelphia 76ers, a draft pick the Suns already had from the Steve Nash trade before trading the pick to the 76ers in the Brandon Knight trade. In the offseason, Devin Booker signed a 5-year $158 million dollar contract extension with the Suns.
2019: Monty Williams joins
Before the start of the official season and during preseason on October 8, 2018, owner Robert Sarver decided to relieve Ryan McDonough of General Manager Duties and named vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein the interim general managers. A highlight of the season was when a planned three-way trade with the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies fell apart through miscommunication of the players involved and being sent in the planned deal. The Suns would once again have another losing season as they missed the playoffs for the ninth straight season. at the end of the season, the Suns made James Jones the team's permanent general manager, with co-interim general manager Trevor Bukstein returning to his prior assistant general manager role. When the season came to an end, the coaching staff, including head coach Igor Kokoškov, were fired on April 23, 2019 and hired former New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans head coach and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams as the team's new head coach on May 3, and completed the rest of the new coaching staff on June 26. Phoenix finished with a 19–63 record, the worst in the west. Deandre Ayton made first-team all-rookie. The Suns had the third odds in the lottery, but landed the 6th pick.
During the day of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Suns agreed to deal T.J. Warren to the Indiana Pacers and their second round pick (which would become KZ Okpala from Stanford) to the Miami Heat for cash considerations. During the draft, they agreed to swap their 6th pick (which would become Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech), trading down for the Minnesota Timberwolves's 11th pick (which would become Cameron Johnson from North Carolina) and Dario Šarić and also agreeing to deal the Milwaukee Bucks's future first round pick to the Boston Celtics for Aron Baynes and the draft rights to University of Virginia champion point guard Ty Jerome, as well as agree to a deal with undrafted Brewster Academy postgraduate Jalen Lecque.
The Suns played the Kings opening night on October 23 and won 124–95 in a blowout victory. On October 24, Deandre Ayton was suspended 25 games for failing a drug test.
On February 13, 2020, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Devin Booker had been named as a reserve in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first time since Steve Nash in 2012 that a Phoenix Suns player had been selected to the game. This later selection came as a result of an injury to Portland's Damian Lillard, who was unable to participate.
Following the suspension of the 2019–20 NBA season, the Suns were one of the 22 teams invited to the NBA Bubble to participate in the final 8 games of the regular season.
The Suns had the opportunity to advance to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009–10 NBA season had they reached the Western Conference's 8th seed via this season’s play-in tournament. However, their chances were hurt with not only Kelly Oubre Jr. announcing he would no longer play for the rest of the season, but two other Suns players were confirmed to test positive for COVID-19. Despite them being without Kelly and Aron Baynes in the resumed regular season, the Suns won all 8 games in the 2020 NBA Bubble, not only being the only undefeated team in the bubble, but also reaching the 30-win barrier for the first time since the 2014–15 season. Despite winning every game, however, the Suns missed the playoffs for the tenth straight year after the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Brooklyn Nets on August 13, 2020. As a result, the Trail Blazers qualified for the play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies, which determined who would be the 8th seed in the Western Conference as well as who will face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. The Trail Blazers defeated the Grizzlies to clinch the 8th seed, but lost to the eventual NBA champion Lakers in five games in the first round.
2020–21 season: The CP3 Trade and the return to the NBA Finals
With the November 16, 2020 trade for now-11x All-Star point guard Chris Paul and Abdel Nader, it became the franchise's biggest trade for an All-Star player since acquiring Charles Barkley via trade before beginning the 1992–93 season. As a result of that move, the Suns looked to accomplish their best chance yet to return to the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2009–10 season. Exiting 2020, the Suns started out the season with a 4–1 record to enter 2021, last starting out a season like that in 2009. They then got a 5–1 start on New Year's Day, continuing their best start since 2009 proper. However, after struggling throughout the rest of January 2021 afterward, being notified about Paul Westphal's death on January 2, the Suns had a roaring period in February with a 12–3 month, including a 7-game winning streak at home, before ending the first half of the season with a 5-game winning streak for a 17–3 finish (25–11 overall record) and leading the Pacific Division once again in the All-Star break after going 8–8 at one point. The Suns then continued their hot stretch going into the second half of this season, getting a 7-game winning streak and a 10-home game winning streak at one point to go 36–10 after that 8–8 period as of April 29.
With their blowout 134–106 home win over the Washington Wizards on April 10, 2021, the Suns had their first official winning season since the 2013–14 season. Five days later, with a 122–114 home win over the Sacramento Kings, they also had their first winning season where they reached up to 40 or more wins since that same 2013–14 season. Four days after that, on April 19, 2021, the Suns guaranteed themselves a spot for at least the play-in tournament for the 2021 NBA playoffs with their 41st win of the season by a 128–127 overtime road win over the Milwaukee Bucks. In their next game two days later, they had their 42nd win of the season (getting it without needing the entire 82-game regular season this time around) with a close 116–113 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers, getting their first true winning season since that aforementioned 2013–14 season. With a 118–110 road win over the New York Knicks on April 26, 2021 and then a 109–101 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers two days later, led in the clutch by Chris Paul in the fourth quarters of those games, the Suns officially returned to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2010, ending their decade-long playoff drought. For the first time since 2007, the Suns clinched the Pacific Division, their seventh division title.
In the playoffs, the Suns faced the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. The two teams previously met in the 2010 Western Conference Finals, which was the Suns' last postseason appearance. The Suns defeated the defending champion Lakers in six games, winning their first playoff series since 2010, as well as their first playoff series victory against the Lakers since 2007. The Suns advanced to the Semifinals, where they faced the Denver Nuggets. The Suns would go on to sweep the Nuggets in four games, advancing to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2010, where they faced the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. The two teams previously met in the conference Semifinals of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, with the Suns winning in seven games. The Suns would go on to defeat the Clippers in six games, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. Also, for the first time since 2006, the Suns had defeated both Los Angeles NBA teams in the playoffs. In the NBA Finals, the Suns faced the Milwaukee Bucks. However, after going up 2–0 in the Finals, the Suns would go on to drop the next four games, losing in six games to the Bucks. It marked their third consecutive NBA Finals loss.
1968–1973: Original uniforms
After the NBA had awarded a franchise to the Phoenix metropolitan area in 1968, local designers chose purple and orange as the main colors for the Phoenix Suns' uniforms. The original uniforms featured a futuristic "Phoenix" wordmark in front plus block numbers and letters in orange with purple and white trim. An orange sunburst logo was added on the sides of the shorts.
1973–1992: Western look
The Suns tweaked their uniforms for the 1973–74 season. Other than the basic template itself, only the lettering and numbers were changed from the original uniforms. The "Phoenix" wordmark and numbers were modified to a Western-style font, with a few changes to the treatment of the player's name at the back.
1992–2000: Streaking Sun look
In time for the move to the America West Arena for the 1992–93 season, the Suns overhauled their look. The home white and road purple uniforms now feature the "Streaking Sun" logo in the chest with "Suns" on top and the number at the bottom. The shorts feature the word "Phoenix" in orange letters written diagonally on the left leg. Prior to the 1994–95 season, the Suns introduced a black alternate uniform featuring the same template.
2000–2013: Seven Seconds or Less look
Before the 2000–01 season, the Suns changed to a more simplistic uniform style. The home white uniform has the word "Suns" and the numbers in purple with orange trim along with purple side stripes. The road purple uniform has the word "Phoenix" and the numbers in white with orange trim along with grey side stripes. An orange alternate uniform, with the abbreviation "PHX" and the numbers in white with purple trim along with grey side stripes, arrived prior to the 2003–04 season. All three uniforms featured the updated "Streaking Sun" alternate logo on the stripes while the player's numbers was seen on the left leg until the 2005–06 season.
2013–2017: Updated Streaking Sun look
The Suns overhauled their uniforms anew prior to the 2013–14 season. The look was inspired from their previous uniform designs. The home white uniforms featured "Suns" in orange with black trim along with black numbers, orange streaks and grey and orange sunbursts. The purple road uniforms featured "Phoenix" in white with orange trim along with orange numbers, white streaks and black, grey and orange sunbursts. The orange alternate uniforms (sleeved from 2013 to 2015; sleeveless from 2015 to 2017) featured "Suns" in white with black trim along with black numbers, white streaks and black and dark orange sunbursts.
During the 2014–15 season, the Suns added a grey sleeved alternate uniform. The uniform has "Phoenix" and the numbers in black with orange trim. The "Phoenix" wordmark was a callback to the "Western" look of the 1970s and 1980s. A black alternate uniform was also added prior to the 2015–16 season. The black uniforms featured "PHX" in black with white trim along with white numbers and purple and orange trim.
2017–present: Switch to Nike
When the NBA switched to Nike beginning with the 2017–18 season, the Suns drastically revamped their uniforms. Gone was the modernized "Streaking Sun" and the sunburst of the previous uniforms, and the Suns returned to a more simplified design. Purple also returned as a prominent color. The home-and-away designations were eliminated and in its place were the white "Association" uniform, the primary color "Icon" uniform, the secondary color "Statement" uniform and the annual "City" uniform.
The Suns' "Association" uniforms featured "Suns" in orange and the numbers in purple. The purple "Icon" uniforms featured "Phoenix" in grey and the numbers in orange. The black "Statement" uniform featured "PHX" in grey and the numbers in orange. All three uniforms have the "Streaking Sun" logo on the beltline.
Starting with the 2019–20 season, the Suns replaced the black uniform with a new orange uniform, featuring the "Streaking Sun" logo in front, the numbers in white, and the "PHX" abbreviation on the beltline.
Starting with the 2020–21 season, the Suns introduced their newest "City" uniform design. The words "The Valley" are centralized on the front of the uniform to represent the heart, unity, and spirit of "The Valley of the Sun" (a nickname for the Phoenix Metropolitan area due to its location in the Salt River Valley). It features a sunset-like gradient that stretches across the front of the uniform (as well as the sides of the shorts), showcasing the "picturesque backdrop" behind Camelback Mountain.
Los Suns special uniforms
The Suns started wearing special "Noche Latina" uniforms in 2007 to commemorate the Latin American fanbase. The 2007 edition used the home white uniform template with the flag of Latin American countries substituting for the orange stripes. Starting in 2008, the Suns began to wear a modified version of their orange alternate uniforms with "Los Suns" in front, which they kept until 2013.
During the 2010 NBA Playoffs, the Suns wore their "Los Suns" uniforms on Cinco de Mayo for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs. Sports reporter Dave Zirin called the "Los Suns" action an "unprecedented political statement by a sports team." The move was also widely reported to be a protest of an Arizona illegal-immigration law enacted in April.
After the 2013 rebrand the Suns wore a black sleeved uniform with "Los Suns" in white with orange trim along with Latin-inspired accents at the back. This lasted only one season, however, as the Suns introduced a modified version of their purple uniforms in 2015, albeit with "Los Suns" in place of "Phoenix". This version lasted until 2017.
For 2018, Nike added a fourth uniform option, the "City" uniform. The Suns used the occasion to unveil a new version of the "Los Suns" uniform, albeit using only purple, grey and white. Unlike in previous years where the "Los Suns" uniform was worn only during the month of March, this uniform was first used during the month of January. For 2019, the "Los Suns" uniform added orange trim on the letters and stylized black piping while moving the front numbers to the left chest. It also featured a recolored Arizona flag in Suns colors on the shorts and "SOMOS PHX" slogan above the uniform tag. The 2020 version kept the same template albeit with black as the base color and purple as the trim color.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Percentage
|1969-70||39||43||.476||Lost Division Semifinals||Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 3|
|1975-76||42||40||.512||Won Conference Semifinals
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
|Phoenix 4, Seattle 2|
Phoenix 4, Golden State 3
Boston 4, Phoenix 2
|1977-78||49||33||.598||Lost First Round||Milwaukee 2, Phoenix 0|
|1978-79||50||32||.610||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 2, Portland 1|
Phoenix 4, Kansas City 1
Seattle 4, Phoenix 3
|1979-80||55||27||.671||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 2, Kansas City 1|
Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 1
|1980-81||57||25||.695||Lost Conference Semifinals||Kansas City 4, Phoenix 3|
|1981-82||46||36||.561||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 2, Denver 1|
Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 0
|1982-83||53||29||.646||Lost First Round||Denver 2, Phoenix 1|
|1983-84||41||41||.500||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 3, Portland 2|
Phoenix 4, Utah 2
Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 2
|1984-85||36||46||.439||Lost First Round||LA Lakers 3, Phoenix 0|
|1988-89||55||27||.671||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 3, Denver 0|
Phoenix 4, Golden State 1
LA Lakers 4, Phoenix 0
|1989-90||54||28||.659||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 3, Utah 2|
Phoenix 4, LA Lakers 1
Portland 4, Phoenix 2
|1990-91||55||27||.671||Lost First Round||Utah 3, Phoenix 1|
|1991-92||53||29||.646||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 3, San Antonio 0|
Portland 4, Phoenix 1
|1992-93||62||20||.756||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
|Phoenix 3, LA Lakers 2|
Phoenix 4, San Antonio 2
Phoenix 4, Seattle 3
Chicago 4, Phoenix 2
|1993-94||56||26||.683||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 3, Golden State 0|
Houston 4, Phoenix 3
|1994-95||59||23||.720||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 3, Portland 0|
Houston 4, Phoenix 3
|1995-96||41||41||.500||Lost First Round||San Antonio 3, Phoenix 1|
|1996-97||40||42||.488||Lost First Round||Seattle 3, Phoenix 2|
|1997-98||56||26||.683||Lost First Round||San Antonio 3, Phoenix 1|
|1998-99||27||23||.540||Lost First Round||Portland 3, Phoenix 0|
|1999-00||53||29||.646||Won First Round
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 3, San Antonio 1|
LA Lakers 4, Phoenix 1
|2000-01||51||31||.623||Lost First Round||Sacramento 3, Phoenix 1|
|2002-03||44||38||.537||Lost First Round||San Antonio 4, Phoenix 2|
|2004-05||62||20||.756||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 4, Memphis 0|
Phoenix 4, Dallas 2
San Antonio 4, Phoenix 1
|2005-06||54||28||.659||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 4, LA Lakers 3|
Phoenix 4, LA Clippers 3
Dallas 4, Phoenix 2
|2006-07||61||21||.744||Won First Round
Loat Conference Semifinals
|Phoenix 4, LA Lakers 1|
San Antonio 4, Phoenix 2
|2007-08||55||27||.671||Lost First Round||San Antonio 4, Phoenix 1|
|2009-10||54||28||.659||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Lost Conference Finals
|Phoenix 4, Portland 2|
Phoenix 4, San Antonio 0
LA Lakers 4, Phoenix 2
|2020-21||51||21||.708||Won First Round
Won Conference Semifinals
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
|Phoenix 4, LA Lakers 2|
Phoenix 4, Denver 0
Phoenix 4, LA Clippers 2
Milwaukee 4, Phoenix 2
- The Suns are one of three teams that play in the Phoenix city proper along with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Mercury, sharing Footprint Center with the Mercury; the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes play in suburban Glendale.
- The Suns have the 4th-best all-time regular season win percentage; only the rival Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics have better percentages.
- The Suns join the Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors to have an orange jersey.
- In the 1974 movie "Mixed Company," Joseph Bologna played a hapless Phoenix Suns coach who struggled to balance the demands of coaching an inept team with the even greater demands of his family adopting mixed race orphans.
Suns broadcasters and broadcasts
Legendary broadcaster Al McCoy has covered the team ever since. McCoy, who in 2006-07, will broadcast Suns games on radio for the 37th consecutive season, actually simulcast his broadcasts on radio and television for many seasons. McCoy's unique, folksy style of calling the games, including his signature catchphrases such as "Shazam!" for a three-point shot, endeared him to thousands of Suns fans across Arizona, the Southwest, and nationwide. McCoy was honored for his announcing at a Phoenix Suns game, in which the Suns defeated the Indiana Pacers. He was partnered for many years with legendary coach Cotton Fitzsimmons. In recent years, former NBA players Vinny Del Negro and Tim Kempton served as color commentators on the radio side, with Del Negro working most regular-season home games and all of the playoffs with McCoy (Del Negro was named Suns director of player personnel during the 2006 offseason).
The flagship radio station is KTAR Phoenix, which has carried Suns games for 38 seasons, as of 2006-07.
Former NBA on CBS broadcaster Gary Bender has handled the cable Fox Sports Net (FSN-Arizona) telecasts since the early 1990s. Beginning with the 2003-04 season, Tom Leander assumed the reins on over-the-air TV; the games air on MyNetworkTV affiliate KUTP. Former Suns star Dan Majerle, a member of the team's Ring-of-Honor has served as a commentator on television broadcasts since 2004. He splits the color commentator duties with former Suns star Eddie Johnson.
The FSN Arizona broadcasts have been different from those of NBA teams on other affiliate networks, because the time-and-score graphic does not include an embedded shot clock. Instead, it has only been shown when the clock reaches eight seconds or less, is shown in large print, and is sponsored. Among the sponsors of the clock's appearances have been Henkel and the Arizona Department of Health Services (under the slogan "Inhale Life"). However, for the 2006-07 season, an embedded clock was added to the KUTP telecasts. (It should also be noted that each basket of the game is also sponsored, by companies like Southwest Airlines and Roomstore.) On January 19, 2007, an embedded clock was part of the graphic during the FSN Arizona telecast of the team's victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, but the sponsored shot clock was still also on-screen when the time was expiring. It is unknown if the embedded clock was only a one-night change or will be a permanent feature of Suns broadcasts.
- Phoenix Gazette, January 22, 1968.
- Arizona Republic, January 23, 1968.
- "Suns continue ties to Tucson", Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star, April 17, 2004. 
Players of note
- 0 - Ty-Shon Alexander
- 22 - Deandre Ayton
- 1 - Devin Booker
- 25 - Mikal Bridges
- 4 - Jevon Carter
- 12 - Torrey Craig
- 99 - Jae Crowder
- 2 - Langston Galloway
- 23 - Cameron Johnson
- 8 - Frank Kaminsky
- 55 - E'Twaun Moore
- 11 - Abdel Nader
- 3 - Chris Paul
- 15 - Cameron Payne
- 20 - Dario Šarić
- 10 - Jalen Smith
Not to be forgotten
Ring of Honor and retired numbers
|Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor|
|5*||Dick Van Arsdale||G||1968–1977|
- * Indicates retired number.
- Dick Van Arsdale also served as interim head coach in 1987.
- Dan Majerle also served as assistant head coach (2008–2013).
- Alvan Adams' number 33 was temporarily unretired for Grant Hill (2008–2012).
- Charles Barkley was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996.
- Paul Westphal also served as assistant head coach (1988–1992) and head coach (1992–1996).
- Phoenix Suns (Official Website)
- BasketballBoards.net - Phoenix Suns Forum
- Phoenix Suns @ Yahoo! Sports Encyclopedia
- PhxSuns.net Fan Message Board
- phxhoops.com - Phoenix Suns Fan Website with News, Forums, and Auctions
- Bright Side of the Sun - Phoenix Suns Fan Blog and Discussions
- SunsDynasty.com - The Ultimate Resource For Phoenix Suns Fans
- The Suns Information
- Phoenix Suns Blog @ NBAWeblog.com
- Phoenix Suns Blog with Recaps, News, Commentary, Pictures, Videos, and Drivel
- Page on Wikipedia
|National Basketball Association|