PHOENIX SUNS FRANCHISE HISTORY
Previous Franchise Names: None
Principal Owner: Robert Sarver
President: Jason Rowley
General Manager: Ryan McDonough
Head Coach: Earl Watson
Best Season: 1992-93/2004-05 (62-20, .756)
Playoff Appearances: 29
NBA Championships: 0
The Phoenix Suns have been one of the NBA’s most successful regular-season teams since joining the league as an expansion club in 1968, with a .546 winning percentage that ranks fourth-best among the league’s current 30 teams.
But postseason success has not been as easy to attain. Despite 29 playoff appearances in 48 years, Phoenix has reached the NBA Finals just twice—losing in six games to the Boston Celtics in 1976 and in six games to the Chicago Bulls in 1993.
The Suns hold a dubious league record—their 49-33 campaign in 1971-72 is the best ever by a team that did not qualify for the postseason. Incidentally, their 48-34 season in 2013-14 is tied for the second-best on that list.
The 1976 Suns came out of nowhere, reaching the playoffs with a middling 42-40 record. But an upset of the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals set the stage for rookie Alvan Adams and newly acquired Paul Westphal to take on the Celtics before falling short.
The 1993 Finals appearance was a much different matter. Buoyed by the acquisition of NBA MVP Charles Barkley in an offseason trade, the Suns won a team-record 62 games under first-year coach Westphal before failing to hold on to home-court advantage in the Finals.
The rest of Phoenix’s playoff history is marked by continued frustration—a 62-win team in 2004-05 fell in the conference finals and a 2006-07 edition of the Suns that won 61 games couldn’t get out of the second round.
Phoenix hasn’t been to the postseason since reaching the conference finals in 2010.
John MacLeod left the University of Oklahoma to coach the Suns in 1973 and remained until he was dismissed 56 games into the 1986-87 season and is the winningest coach in franchise history with a 579-543 record. However, he was just 37-44 in the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns Career Leaders (as of 3/9/2016)
- Games, Alvan Adams, 988
- Points, Walter Davis, 15666
- Rebounds, Alvan Adams, 6937
- Assists, Steve Nash, 6997
- Steals, Alvan Adams, 1289
- Blocks, Larry Nance, 940
Phoenix Suns Retired Numbers
- 5, Dick Van Arsdale
- 6, Walter Davis
- 7, Kevin Johnson
- 9, Dan Majerle
- 24, Tom Chambers
- 33, Alvan Adams
- 34, Charles Barkley
- 42, Connie Hawkins
- 44, Paul Westphal
- JC, Jerry Colangelo
- JM, John MacLeod
- JP, Joe Proski
- 832, Cotton Fitzsimmons
Phoenix Suns Official Links
Phoenix Suns Beat Writers
Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic, @paulcoro
Related Phoenix Suns Blogs and Links
Phoenix Suns Logo History, courtesy of Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net
Salary Page: Phoenix Suns Salaries at Spotrac
FanSided Phoenix Suns: Valley of the Suns
SB Nation Phoenix Suns: Bright Side of the Sun
HoopsHabit Phoenix Suns Archive: Phoenix Suns
Bleacher Report Phoenix Suns Team Stream: Phoenix Suns
RealGM Phoenix Suns Page: Phoenix Suns
Stats and retired number information courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com