Alvan Adams Through the Years
May 9, 2012
Alvan Adams was recruited to play college basketball at the University of Oklahoma for John MacLeod. After one season (1972-73), MacLeod left to become coach of the Phoenix Suns.
Adams left Oklahoma after the 1974-75 season, while MacLeod was getting ready for the 1975 NBA Draft with Suns General Manager Jerry Colangelo.
The Suns selected Adams as the fourth overall pick in the 1975 NBA Draft.
Adams rookie year for the Suns was the memorable 1975-76 season.
Adams averaged a career-high 19 points per game during his first season.
Adams also averaged 9.1 rebounds and a career-high 5.6 assists.
On April 8, the Suns clinched their first playoff berth in six years when they beat the Lakers 113-98.
Two remarkable victories over Seattle and Golden State put the Suns in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics and landed Adams on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Adams averaged 18 points throughout the playoffs.
Adams also averaged a career-high 10 rebounds for the playoff run but the Celtics won the NBA Championship four games to two.
Adams was named 1976 NBA Rookie of the Year. Over the years, Adams has had pictures taken with other Suns that were Rookies of the Year. Here is Adams with Amar'e Stoudemire in 2003.
At the Phoenix Press Box Association award dinner in January of 1977, Adams, MacLeod and Colangelo all received awards for their outstanding season.
Despite his 6-9 size, Adams played mostly center during his career and proved to be very durable, never playing less than 70 games in any season.
Adams shot 49.8 percent from the field and 78.8 percent from the foul line for this career.
Adams averaged 14 points and seven rebounds for his 13 years in the NBA.
After missing the playoffs for six years prior to Adams' arrival, Alvan played in nine playoffs during his 13 years with the Suns.
Adams signature dunks usually took place after he beat the opponents' big men down the court.
Adams retired after the 1987-88 season.
In November of 1988, Adams was placed in the Suns Ring of Honor. Al McCoy was the master of ceremonies, while Paul Westphal gave his congratulations.
Adams' Ring of Honor sign hangs on the facing of the upper deck at US Airways Center.
Following his playing career, Adams became a full-time Suns employee in the operation department where he was placed in charge of facilities.
Over the years, Adams took part in many community projects, including Habitat for Humanity.
One wall on the upper concourse has a summary of Adams' career.
Adams participated in the NBA Jam Session as part of All-Star weekend in Phoenix in 2009.
Two more former Rookies of the Year with Adams—Shaquille O’Neal and Bob McAdoo.
A wall leading to the Suns locker room also has information about Adams' career and Rookie of the Year award. Grant Hill shared the award with Jason Kidd for the 1994-95 season.
Adams presented a basketball signed by previous Ring of Honor inductees when John MacLeod was honored in 2012.
Adams was inducted into the Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame on June 25 at CoSIDA's annual convention in St. Louis at the organization's awards gala.
Alvan Leigh Adams (1975-76 thru 1987-88), 1976 NBA Rookie of the Year, Suns career leader in games (988), minutes (27,203), rebounds (6,937), and steals (1,289), and is currently the Suns Vice President for Facility Management for US Airways Center.