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Shawn Marion Retires

As he announced earlier in the year, Shawn Marion followed through on his retirement plans following the Cleveland Cavaliers loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.  Marion, who is 37, is coming off career lows in the NBA, but did have a productive sixteen year career in the Association. 

Marion was drafted ninth overall by the Phoenix Suns in 1999 out of UNLV and was instantly dubbed the “Matrix”.  The versatile forward would have his best seasons with Phoenix, going to four All Star Games and being named to the All NBA Third Team twice.  Following a very productive nine year run with the Suns, he would be traded to the Miami Heat, and later go the Raptors, but his crowning accomplishment would come with his fourth team, the Dallas Mavericks.

While Marion was in Dallas, he was a member of the surprising championship team of 2011 that defeated the first attempt of Miami’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  Marion was no longer an All Star, but still a productive member of the team and he joined Cleveland last season with the hope of chasing another.

Marion is an interesting candidate for the Basketball Hall of Fame as is one of the few players who has 17,000 career Points, 10,000 career Rebounds, 1,500 Steals and 1,000 career Blocks.  He retires with a PER of 18.8 and 15.2 Points per Game, very good numbers, but this is a player that was never considered the best at his position or even on his own team. 

Saying all of that, we here at will slot Marion at a high number once he is on the list in five years.

Steve Nash joins the Suns Ring of Honor

The Phoenix Suns announced that Steve Nash will become the 14th man to enter their Ring of Honor.  That will take place at halftime of this season’s home game with the Portland Trail Blazers on October 30th.

The Canadian raised Point Guard had his best seasons with Phoenix where he would become a two time MVP winner and earned six of his eight All Star Appearances.  He is currently the franchise’s leader in Assists, Three Pointers and Free Throw Percentage and as a Sun he had an average of 14.5 Points and 9.4 Assist per Game along with a PER of 20.8.

The future Hall of Famer will join a Ring that includes Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers and Dan Majarle.

Congratulations to Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns!

Amar'e Stoudemire Retires. HOFer?

We waited a little bit before we decided to discuss the retirement of Amar’e Stoudemire from the National Basketball Association at the age of 33.  Perhaps it was because it is not know at this time if he will continue to play overseas or because we are not even certain that this will hold.  Regardless, we are going to do that now and ask the question we always ask when we have a retirement of this magnitude; is Amar’e Stoudemire a Hall of Famer?

Coming out of High School as the 9th overall pick in the 2002 Draft, The Phoenix Suns had an immediate star as the big man won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.  He helped elevate Phoenix to an NBA Championship contender, pairing with Steve Nash forming one of the most devastating pairings in professional basketball. 

Five times with the Suns, Stoudemire would make the All-Star Team and he was named a Second Team All-NBA selection three times and a First Team Selection once.  In 2007, he would finish second in MVP voting to the eventual winner, Kobe Bryant.

Opting out of his contract with Suns, Amar’e Stoudemire joined Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks and was still in superstar form, earning another All Star Game appearance and a Second Team All-NBA nod.  Injuries would however pile up and season after season the 6’ 10’’ Stoudemire would become a shell of what he once was.  He would finish his career with stints with Dallas and Miami.

On Tuesday, Stoudemire signed with the Knicks and announced his NBA retirement, proudly stating “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” (though his run in Phoenix was far superior). 

Although Amar’e has no college resume (which can factor in the to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame) his five All-NBA selections put him on the black side of the Springfield ledger.  He has good career number with a PER of 21.8 and 92.5 Win Shares, though his relatively low VORP (16.81) might raise a few eyebrows and his career Rebounds/Game are not huge for a man his size.

Stating that, Amar’e Stoudemire is a player who competed in the NBA All-Star Game six times; a number that equates to many as a Hall of Famer, though we aren’t ready to usher him in just yet.

He will be eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021 and will likely be placed on the lower end of our top ten of our Basketball List.  With Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan eligible the same year, Amar’e won’t get in immediately, and this is one case where if he got inducted in his second year or never, the result would yield equal surprise.

Still, we would like to thank Amar’e for the wonderful run and the memories he gave fans in Phoenix, New York and the NBA fans world over.  It was a great career!

17. Kevin Johnson

One of the great point guards of the 90's, Kevin Johnson could both score and distribute the ball.  A very good player at the University of California, Johnson was drafted 7th by the Cavs in the 1987 draft.  Stuck behind Mark Price, the Cavs unloaded Johnson to the Suns in a huge trade that also involved Larry Nance coming back to Cleveland.  It is with Phoenix where Johnson made his impact.  Johnson was one of the quickest guards in league history and could get to the hoop at any time getting a shot for himself or one of his teammates.  He averaged 20 points and 10 assists in his first 3 seasons in Phoenix; something only two others have done (the others being HOFers Oscar Robertson and Isaiah Thomas).  The Suns were serious title contenders throughout the mid 90's especially when they made the move to get Charles Barkley form Philly.  Johnson gladly accepted the role of second fiddle to Barkley's huge personality.  Close title runs marked this team, with the closest being a trip to the finals against eventual champion Chicago in 1993.  Ironically that looks like what his legacy will be as far as getting into the Hall. Close but no cigar.  Now the mayor of Sacramento , Johnson is the leading advocate for keeping the Kings in town.

23. Walter Davis

Walter Davis was one of the best shooters n the history of the league.  He predated the heavy influence of the 3 point line or he may have been that generations Reggie Miller.  A great career at North Carolina was followed by an even better pro career primarily for the Phoenix Suns that got him elected to 6 All-Star teams.  Davis averaged almost 19 points a game and came up just short of the magical 20,000 point mark.

28. Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers perfectly defined the new role of the big man.  At six foot eleven he could run like a shooting guard and could finish anything.  His jump shot was unblockable due to his size and though he never was a great post player, he did not shy away from contact. Chambers scored over 20,000 career points and made 4 All-Star games. He was not on winning teams but Chambers was a great offensive player and players today such as Dirk Nowitzki owe their careers to his influence in changing the way the game thought of big men.

32. Paul Silas

Paul Silas is one of the most respected players of his generation.  Never a star, Silas was a workmanlike power forward that was at his best coming off the bench and bringing the muscle to the court.  A great rebounder and defender, Silas was an integral part of three championship teams, two in Boston and one in Seattle.  A long career highlighted by being on winners and collecting over 12,000 rebounds (currently 20th on the all time list) have overshadowed a great college career. 

46. Larry Nance

Larry Nance was a very solid forward in the NBA who is most known for winning the first All-Star game slam dunk competition in a huge upset.  At 6 foot 11, Nance was a player that could flat get up in the air, but he was much more than just a dunker. 

58. Jeff Hornacek

Jeff Hornacek was a late second round pick out of Iowa State where he had played point guard.  His ability to pass was often overlooked later in his career as he is currently in the top fifty in career assists.  One of the great shooters in the history of the league, Hornacek was a great third scoring option on two different title contenders.  Best known for his play with the Jazz when they challenged the Bulls in back to back years, Hornacek's consistency helps his chances but the fact he was never even the second best player on teams that didn’t win greatly hamper his Hall of Fame chances.

96. Danny Manning

Like Laettner, Danny Manning is one of the great college players ever, almost singlehandedly carrying Kansas to a national title in 1988.  His pro career was marked with frequent injuries and playing on some bad teams.  He was a two time All-Star and if anyone could get in for one remarkable month of basketball it would be Manning.  Manning was also elected to the college hall in 2008 thus greatly reducing his chances of getting into the main Hall in Springfield.

102. Alvan Adams

Mr. Phoenix Sun.  The team leader in several categories Alvan Adams came from Oklahoma as fourth overall pick in 1975 and made an instant impact.  He led the Suns to the NBA Finals in his rookie year and they almost pulled off an improbable upset of the Celtics. 

108. Truck Robinson

Len “Truck” Robinson fit his nickname and could very well be the very definition of a power forward.  He was a “truck” underneath, using his incredible strength to dominate.  A great rebounder Truck also had the ability to score and developed a great mid range game.  Injuries limited his career totals and this will hurt his chances, however fans of the NBA before the Bird-Magic liftoff remember how dominant he could be.
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