Steve Nash is one of the most beloved Phoenix Suns of all time. Across two stints with the organization, he helped to pilot the “seven seconds or less” era of Suns basketball, and became a two-time league MVP while with the franchise.
Nash certainly had some illustrious teammates during his tenure in The Valley, with Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire two who will be going into the Suns’ Ring of Honor this coming season. In fact Nash was unlucky not to win a championship with the team, and has the scars to prove it.
Not every teammate Nash had was a great one however, and there were some who ended up not contributing to winning basketball the way that he did.
The NBA was certainly a different place when Nash was selected 15th by the Suns as part of that iconic 1996 draft class. Yet he was gone by 1998 (some guy called Jason Kidd got the nod instead of him to run the team), before making a triumphant return to the franchise in 2004.
His first season back, that team won 33 more games than the previous season, the Suns established themselves as true contenders, the MVP awards came and the rest in history. Lost to time are some of those dodgy starters that Nash had to put up with, with the worst six making this sorry list. Fair warning though, this was actually a lot harder than you’d think.
6. James Jones
It seems harsh to land current Suns’ General Manager James Jones on this list. After all, alongside owner Mat Ishbia, he is helping to put together the roster that is giving the organization the best chance they have ever had to win a first championship. Jones the player though, was a less exciting story.
Best remembered as part of that 2011 Miami Heat team that won LeBron James his first ring, Jones was with the Suns for two seasons, and started 25 games in the 2005-06 season. That team went an impressive 54-28, and Jones appeared in 75 contests overall. He played his part.
Jones is here because the criteria to make this list has to be that a player started 20 games in any one season, and if you look at every player who Nash played alongside that meets that threshold, there weren’t that many truly awful players. Jones averaged 9.3 points that season, although he did shoot an impressive 37.8 percent from deep while playing predominantly as a small forward.
He’s here because he was a pedestrian player. Not a bad one per se, but just not an individual who was helping to move the needle that little bit further at a time when Nash was 31-years-old and would win his second MVP award. The Suns made the Western Conference finals that year, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Jones offered up 4.3 points and shot 30 percent from deep.