The Phoenix Suns have had a whole host of fantastic players who have suited up for the franchise through the years. Despite never winning a championship, they’ve had some iconic individuals to go with those memorable purple jerseys down in The Valley.
But who is the greatest Sun of all time? Perhaps surprisingly, the list is not as long as you might think. In fact it is much easier to find no less than 14 players who the organization signed past their prime. Perhaps not winning a championship in the past is easier to explain than we thought?
Here at Valley of the Suns we recently asked our followers who the greatest Sun of all time was, and the results were certainly interesting.
Despite having a plethora of players to choose from — literally any Sun ever — only five players got votes. Perhaps surprisingly, Shaquille O’Neal for example didn’t get a single nod. Maybe you’re not surprised, but there is a case to be made that O’Neal is the greatest player to ever suit up for the Suns.
Less surprisingly, the likes of Chris Paul and Kevin Durant did not feature once either. You would have thought that at least one fan would vote for either, a single person flirted with Durant, but in the end they didn’t make it cut. Let’s break down who did, and crown the greatest Sun of all time in the process.
5. Kevin Johnson (less than 1% of the vote)
At only a single vote, point guard sensation Kevin Johnson finds himself lucky to be on this list, but it is heartening that he did make it. Johnson is a beloved Sun and, alongside Jeff Hornacek, forms probably the best backcourt the organization has ever had.
Before there was the “Point God” in Paul, there was Johnson, who played 12 seasons with the team after a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the Cavs who drafted Johnson seventh overall in 1987, but after only 52 games and with Mark Price the floor general there, he was moved as part of a deal that sent Larry Nance the other way.
Who would have ever thought that Johnson would become not only the best player in that trade, but somebody whose jersey was retired by the franchise. He was a three-time All-Star, helped the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals, and even came out of retirement in 1999-2000 to help the team to the postseason where they won their first series in five years.
Johnson isn’t the best player to ever play for the Suns, but he absolutely deserves to be on this list, so it is fantastic he got a vote. When we run the “favorite Sun of all time” poll soon, expect him to place higher. Putting up 19.3 points and 8.9 assists in 105 playoff games is all you need to know. Consistent excellence personified was Johnson.