NBA 2K recently announced that NBA 2K18 will include all-time teams for each franchise and 16 additional classic teams. NBA 2K17 only included one classic Phoenix Suns team, the 2004-05 team that began the Steve Nash era.
Even though Phoenix hasn’t brought home as many (or any) championships as the teams that appear the most in the game, it would still be nice to see one or two more of our favorite teams included. Though the rest of the NBA world might forget, the Phoenix Suns have had some pretty exciting teams that should be remembered in video game form.
With this in mind, here are five of those teams that I believe NBA 2K should consider including.
1979-1980 – This Phoenix Suns team went an impressive 55-27 during the regular season before losing in the Conference Semifinals to the L.A. Lakers. That team featured three future Ring of Honor members: Alvan Adams, Paul Westphal, and Walter Davis, along with lesser known Leonard “Truck” Robinson (who averaged 17.3 PPG and 9.4 RPG that season). Westphal and Davis were both All-Stars in 1980.
1980-1981 – A slightly different team the very next year, but no less impressive, the ’80-81 Suns went 57-25 and again lost in the Conference Semifinals, this time to the Kansas City Kings. Instead of Paul Westphal, Phoenix boasted defensive-expert Dennis Johnson. He, Walter Davis, and Truck Robinson all averaged between 18 and19 PPG, and were all All-Star Game participants that year. Alvan Adams also had a good season as well, averaging 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.
1997-1998 – I originally had this team in my top five, but decided to go with another team at the last moment. There is a lot to like about this team, though. For starters, it had three generations of Hall of Fame-worthy Suns point guards on one team: Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash. Sure, only Jason Kidd was in his prime, but it would still be fun to play with all of them at the same time. This team also had other hometown favorites, like Danny Manning, Cedric Ceballos, and Rex Chapman, who averaged 15.9 points that year. Another reason to like it: Antonio McDyess’ only season with the Suns during his prime. With Danny Ainge as Head Coach, this team would win 56 games. (If this team doesn’t make the 2K cut, you can always go back and play it on NBA Live 99. Still a great roster to play with today as it was back then.)
2006-2007 – This was perhaps the best team of the Steve Nash era. Nash barely missed out on a third straight MVP while he and Stoudemire were named to the All-NBA first team. The role players really made this team great, though. Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Kurt Thomas, and James Jones provided the stars their best support they had ever had during those years. As good as the San Antonio Spurs were, this team competed with them every step of the way. Unfortunately, suspensions to both Stoudemire and Diaw ensured another painful playoff loss.
2009-2010 – The Suns finally got their revenge by sweeping the Spurs in the second round of the 2010 playoffs. This team, led by Coach Alvin Gentry, exceeded everyone’s expectations. With Shawn Marion no longer around, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, and Jared Dudley helped pick up the slack. We also witnessed the emergence of Channing Frye, a 6’11” big man who hit 2.1 threes per game, and Goran Dragic, who scored 23 fourth quarter points in a game three Semifinals comeback against the Spurs. The postseason ended tragically in the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers, but sweeping the Spurs still was nice.