Shawn Marion never brought a title to the Suns, but the Matrix will mostly be remembered for the eight and a half years he spent in Phoenix during his prime. During his tenure with the Suns, Marion averaged 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.4 blocks per game after Phoenix took him with the ninth pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.
But even those impressive numbers don’t do Shawn Marion’s prime justice.
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A four-time NBA All-Star, Marion’s impressive rebounding and explosive athleticism made him a well-rounded and versatile player. His long arms helped make him a good wing defender who could guard nearly five positions. In transition, he was a nightmare to stop.
By his second season, Marion was averaging 17 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game. When the Suns drafted Amare Stoudemire in 2002 and signed Steve Nash in 2004, Marion finally got the chance to put all his talents to work on a team that could go further than the second round of the playoffs.
In Marion’s first season alongside Nash, the Matrix’s stat line remained relatively unchanged, but the Suns won 62 games and went all the way to the Western Conference Finals before bowing out against the San Antonio Spurs. But it wasn’t for lack of effort on Marion’s part, since the Suns had to ride him to the tune of 42 minutes per game in the postseason.
The following season, Marion stepped up for an injured Stoudemire and put together a 2005-06 campaign that is among the best individual seasons in Phoenix Suns history. He led the team in points (21.8), rebounds (11.8), steals (2.0) and blocks per game (1.7), and was the only player in the league to be ranked in the top 20 for points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goal percentage AND minutes.
Basically, he was Phoenix’s do-it-all guy in a season that saw Nash win his second MVP Award.
The Suns went to the Western Conference Finals once again, but fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. The following season, Marion’s last with the Suns, Phoenix lost in the Western Conference semifinals to the Spurs thanks to some controversial suspensions.
After San Antonio’s Robert Horry checked Steve Nash into the scorer’s table, a scrum ensued. Stoudemire and Boris Diaw received a one-game suspension for leaving the bench, even though they weren’t involved in the altercation, which helped the Spurs win the Game 5 contest that swung the series.
Over the summer, Marion requested a move and called his relationship with the Suns a “bad marriage.” In February of 2008, Phoenix traded him to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O’Neal and the Matrix era was over.
Next: Marion's Achievements