- Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
- Home court: Footprint Center
- G.M: James Jones
- Coach: Monty Williams
- Star: G De’Aaron Fox
- 2021 Season: 64-18, lost in Western Conference semifinals to the Mavs in seven games.
- NBA Titles: 0
- Greatest Player: G Steve Nash.
Factoid: The Suns have the second-highest winning percentage (.535, 2335-2026) of any NBA team to have never won a title.
The Phoenix Suns have surely gotten close to the summit. The franchise went through a stretch of 13 straight seasons in the playoffs. When they didn’t win a title, they rebuilt and enjoyed an eight-season stretch of playoff appearances. When they didn’t win a title, they rebuilt again and, in 2020-21, made the NBA Finals for the third time in franchise history.
Last season, 2021-22, seemed like the year. The Suns won 18 straight at one point, finishing with the best record in franchise history (64-18) and were arguably the team to beat in the playoffs. Which is why the ending was so shocking.
The Suns lost in the Western Conference semifinals to the Dallas Mavericks in seven games. Game 7 was played in Phoenix, yet the Suns were scorched, 123-90. The core of that team remains intact which brings up one of the great riddles in the NBA:
Are the Suns poised to win their first NBA title? Or are the Suns still missing that one key ingredient that will deny them that first title?
The Suns seemingly have it all, as proven by last season’s sensational record. PG Chris Paul is a Hall of Famer the day he retires. Devin Booker is as prolific a scorer as you’ll find. Small forward Mikal Bridges is the epitome of a 3-and-D wing. Cameron Johnson is just starting to unleash his vast potential. And center Deandre Ayton, who finally got the contract extension he wanted a few months ago, is a rim protector extraordinaire.
The only chink in the armor might be coach Monty Williams. Sounds strange, right? How could a coach who led his team to that 64-18 record be questioned? Here’s the answer. The Suns led that series against the Mavs, 3-2. They had two chances to close out. They didn’t, losing that decisive Game 7 in horrific fashion at home.
Ayton, who was benched at times by Williams in the playoffs, said he hasn’t spoken to his coach since the end of last season. His contract situation was tense, to say the least. As we mentioned, either the Suns are on the verge of a parade, or something is missing.
That makes Phoenix one of the most intriguing stories in the NBA.