Facts about the Phoenix Suns
March 25, 2015
The valley is full of devout sports fans and now that football season is over, we’re turning our attention back to the Phoenix Suns as they head towards the postseason. Here are some facts about the Suns that you may not know:
- Of all the professional sports teams in Arizona, only the Suns actually brand themselves exclusively to the city of Phoenix. This has been true since the Phoenix Coyotes changed their name to the Arizona Coyotes in 2014.
- The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks began play as expansion teams in 1968. The Suns were our first major professional sports franchise, and it was the only pro sports team in the state until 1988, when the Cardinals moved here.
- The team played its first 24 seasons at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which was called “The Madhouse on McDowell.” In 1992, the Suns moved into their new arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena (recently renamed again as Talking Stick Resort Arena).
- In 46 years of play, they have made the playoffs 29 times, posted 19 seasons of 50 or more wins, made nine trips to the Western Conference Finals, and advanced to the NBA Finals twice, in 1976 and 1993. As a result, the Suns are the team with the highest winning percentage to have never won an NBA championship.
- The Suns have had two NBA MVPs on their roster: Charles Barkley (1993) and Steve Nash (2005,2006).
- In the winter of 1980, a singing telegram (sent by James Oberhaus, a loyal fan) named Henry Rojas from Eastern Onion Telegram service was sent to the arena in a gorilla costume. Security saw him and suggested to him to stay for a while to entertain the fans during the breaks. He kept coming to games until officially invited to be the Suns’ mascot.
- During the 2010 NBA Playoffs, the Suns announced they would wear uniforms with the words “Los Suns” to honor their Latino fans on Cinco de Mayo for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs. The move was also widely reported to be a protest of an Arizona illegal-immigration law enacted in April. The uniform has been used during NBA Noche Latina events every March since the 2007-08 NBA season.
Now that you know more about our Phoenix Suns, get out and root for them as they head to the playoffs!