Phoenix Suns: 7-Seconds-or-Less team vs. Barkley-Era team; who wins?

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Dan Majerle
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Which Phoenix Suns era team was the best: Shooting Guard

Dan Majerle vs. Joe Johnson

These two players are men and evenly matched. Many Suns fans will remember when Joe Johnson went up for a dunk at the end of the first half of a playoff game against the Mavericks and collided with Jerry Stackhouse of the Mavs.

In an effort to break his fall, JJ held onto the rim a little too long and fell face first breaking his eye socket. Many fans and Joe himself believe that they would have won it all that year if not for that play.

Paul Coro from the Arizona Republican, quoted Johnson and Marion, “There’s no way you can tell me we wouldn’t have been NBA champions if I hadn’t got hurt,” said Johnson.

Marion agreed, telling Coro, “We should’ve won it all that year. If it wasn’t for that (Johnson’s injury), I think we would have.”

Joe Johnson wouldn’t be an All-Star for another couple of years with the Atlanta Hawks where he became a 7-time All-Star!

Thanks, Robert Sarver.

But he was a star for the Suns and a lights-out shooter, as he averaged an incredible 47 percent from deep while averaging 17 points per game for the Suns that year. Both he and Majerle had statistics that mirrored each other in almost every category.

Like a great Major League Baseball pitcher of that time frame, you know the ones that pitched complete games, Dan Majerle started all regular season and playoff games, the only player in the NBA to do that in 1992-1993 while playing 39 minutes or more per game.

“Thunder Dan” played both basketball and baseball at Central Michigan and there was concern around the NBA, as well as here with the Suns about how Dan’s knees would hold up after being an All-State catcher in high school and going on to play both sports at Central Michigan.

The Suns made the right choice and drafted him anyway.

In 1992-1993, Dan Majerle was one of the Suns’ “big three”, all of them All-Stars. But the main difference between Dan Majerle and Joe Johnson is that Majerle played defense. It’s not that Joe Johnson didn’t, he was a big guard with slow lateral movement. He could guard small forwards much better. Dan could guard them all.

I am still a defense wins championship guy. So if you are going to give me a choice between two players that had identical stats and one was an All-Star that year, while making the 2nd team NBA All-Defensive team, I’m going with him.

VERDICT:  Dan Majerle (Though it wouldn’t take much for me to declare a tie.)