The Phoenix Suns are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.
— NBA (@NBA) July 1, 2021
Nobody expected this outcome at the beginning of the year.
We knew the Suns would improve with the addition of Chris Paul, but not at this level.
They had a great regular season, but people were still skeptical of a run to the NBA Finals.
However, they were able to defeat every team in their path and now are four games away from the title.
This is a fanbase that has stuck with this team through all of the rough times.
There are so many players in their history that wished they could get this far for the fans.
Deandre Ayton: "Being a Phoenix Sun, I would say it's amazing, man. You know the type of fan and city you got behind you. Your organization and your teammates is lit…but when the city got you? Yeah."
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) July 1, 2021
Now that the Suns have made it this far; let’s look back to the great players of the franchise that never made it here.
The Suns are not one of the most storied franchises in NBA history.
They have only made the NBA Finals on three different occasions; with all of them being in different decades.
There have been players throughout the team’s history that had their chances, but could never make it to the Finals.
Here are the three best to never make the Finals as a member of the Suns.
3. Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion was a player ahead of his time.
He was able to guard almost every position and was a nightmare in transition.
Marion was a key member of the Suns for a very long time as he made four All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams as well.
Even with his unorthodox jump shot, he was able to score in the league.
During his prime with the Suns, Marion constantly hovered around 20 points per game, while contributing in other ways on the floor.
At 6-foot-7, Marion was able to average more than 10 rebounds per game on three different occasions with the Suns.
He made the Western Conference Finals two times with the Suns, but failed to advance.
Marion might be a Hall of Famer one day, which is well deserved for a player of his caliber.
2. Amar’e Stoudemire
One of the most unique talents of the 2000s was by far Amar’e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire was an athletic freak who was not sophisticated in his basketball fundamentals, but who could still dominate opponents.
His time with the Suns was met with a good deal of individual success.
He won the Rookie of the Year award, made five All-Star teams, and four All-NBA teams with the Suns.
Stoudemire was a part of two trips to the Western Conference Finals, but failed to make it to the Finals.
His best opportunity might have been 2006, but he had to get knee surgery and missed almost the entire season.
Stoudemire was one of the best bigs in his generation.
Unfortunately, bad luck and missed windows hurt his career, and a chance at making the Finals.
1. Steve Nash
Steve Nash is one of the best point guards ever in all honesty.
His time with the Suns should have had at least one Finals appearance.
The Suns of that decade were great because of Nash.
He was the orchestrator of their revolutionary offense.
Nash found so much success in his decade with the team.
He won two straight MVP awards, made six All-Star teams, and five All-NBA teams.
In three different years, he was four games away from finally making the Finals.
That never happened.
He has some of the worst luck in that era.
Nash was highly important for the evolution of basketball.
It is unfortunate that he never made the Finals with the team that he brought from the ground up.