Phoenix Suns Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Phoenix Suns.
The first face on Phoenix Suns Mount Rushmore is Steve Nash. During his second stint with the team from 2004-12, he averaged 50-40-90 shooting over eight seasons. Only a handful of players in league history have shot that well for a single season. He didn’t average that many points but that’s simply because he instead enjoyed making his teammates better and piling up assists as one of the best playmakers in NBA history.
Nash led one of the best offenses the league has ever seen, made the rest of the association try to catch up and changed the way basketball is played. Steph Curry and the Warriors dynasty were made possible because of Nash and the Seven Seconds or Less (SSOL) offense. He led the league in assists for five seasons, went to six All-Star games and won back-to-back MVP awards in Phoenix placing him in the competition for greatest offensive point guard of all-time. “The Nash Rambler” ranks first in franchise history in three-pointers made, assists and offensive win shares as well as second in offensive rating and offensive box plus-minus. He’s also top-seven in games, minutes, PER, field goals, true shooting percentage, points, defensive rebounds, win shares, box plus-minus and VORP.
His time in the valley was short but what he did while in Phoenix solidifies his face on Suns Mount Rushmore. In four seasons, he established himself as one of the best players to ever wear purple and orange. He averaged 23.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and was physically dominant. After joining the Suns in the summer of 1992, the very next season he scored 25.6 points per game, won MVP and took the Suns to the Finals. Chuck was an All-Star every single season in Phoenix.
Although very undersized, he was a bulldozer who dominated the glass and had an entire city behind him. His outrageous personality made him an easy fan favorite. That’s what happens when a player puts Phoenix on the map the moment he arrives. He’s the franchise leader in PER, box plus-minus and offensive box plus-minus and ranks top-seven in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, offensive rating and VORP.
The first two selections are locks. After that, it’s so hard to just pick two more faces. There has been a lot of talent on the Phoenix Suns over the years as believe it or not (I know it’s hard with the last decade or so they’ve had) the franchise is one of the most winningest in the league. I pick “Westy” here because of what he did as both a player and coach.
As a Sun, he shot almost 52 percent from the field as a guard and averaged 22.5 points, 5.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Westphal ranks top-eight in franchise history in field goals, free throws, points, assists, steals, PER, offensive win shares, win shares, box plus-minus, offensive box plus-minus and VORP. He was named an All-Star four times as a player and was a head coach in the All-Star game twice. The Suns have gone to the NBA Finals twice in franchise history. When the “Cinderella Suns” went in 1976, he was a key player and when they went in 1993, he was the head coach.
Al McCoy, Announcer
For the fourth selection on the Suns Mount Rushmore, I’m going to do something different and not go with one of the best players to don purple and orange. There are a lot of great choices here if I was to do that and it’s hard to choose just one. However, there is one person that deserves to be on there just as much if not more than all those guys. Al McCoy AKA “The Voice of the Suns” has been one of the best play-by-play announcers and is the longest tenured radio broadcaster in history, calling 48 seasons and counting.
His catchphrases such as “Shazam”, “Zing Go the Strings”, “Oh Brother” and “Heartbreak Hotel” are etched in the ears of all Suns fans and his style is unparalleled as he does it with the utmost humility. He’s been honored in many ways like the Suns naming the media center after him, being given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the House of Broadcasting and getting inducted into the Ring of Honor. You can put this pick “in the old ice box”.