Thanks to a bit of boredom and inspiration from Shea Serrano’s NBA Celebrations Matrix on Grantland, I’ve used some awful cut-and-paste skills above to investigate which Phoenix Suns players in the past decade had the best celebrations. It felt necessary to consider them in context to the four variables that Serrano used in his matrix. More generally, I was just hoping to rehash some of the best Suns celebration techniques.
Agreed? Disagree? Did I miss any? Probably. One by one, I’ll take a look at six celebrations to remember. All are already included in the above picture, but please feel free to suggest any additional celebrations.
First up: Stephon Marbury‘s “the face.”
I don’t know what Stephon Marbury said. He said something I can’t make out in the video below, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he made this face. Is he about to cry? Is he about to cry before he throws up five pounds of thai food he just ate? It looks like it, but no. He did watch his friend eat five pounds of spicy thai food and then throw up those five pounds of thai food. Stephon Marbury is disgusted but also super impressed that his friend just ate five pounds of spicy thai food in the first place.
You know what caused Marbury to make this face.
Amare Stoudemire’s rookie season in 2002 reminded us what he once was and what he’s become. A bouncy young big man out of high school didn’t have much for game. He flashed natural skills. His jumper looked like it could become promising and his ability and feel around the rim complemented his freakish strength and his astonishing leaping ability. So when Stoudemire took a pocket pass from Marbury on a pick-and-roll below the arc, there wasn’t much he could do but go toward the bucket.
Today’s Stoudemire would have taken an open 15-footer and probably made it. But 2002 Amare had no thoughts of doing that. Or dribbling. Marbury dropped off a slick pass between two defenders, Stoudemire took his allowed two steps and took off with Olowokandi hoping to meet him mid-air. Nope.
Marbury’s face only added to one of the best dunks of all-time and the one that is still probably following the Kandi-man around.
The most astonishing dunks often come by way of simple passes. Marbury set his teammate up to make an incredible play, but Marbury also finished it off with his most memorable celebration.