Best Suns All-Star Performances
February 14, 2014
Paul Westphal – 1977
Less than a year after putting himself and the Suns on the national stage in the NBA Finals, Westphal was awarded with his first All-Star berth thanks to season averages of 23.9 points, 6.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
He didn’t disappoint in what would be the first of five All-Star appearances, including four as a Phoenix Sun. Westphal started and played the most minutes (31), finishing with 20 points, six assists, three steals and – despite being a 6-4 guard – two blocks.
He was a big reason the West won one of the all-time All-Star thrillers, 125-124, though Philadelphia star Julius Erving (30 points, 12 rebounds) took home the game’s MVP honors.
Tom Chambers – 1990
Chambers knew how the All-Star game worked. He’d won the game’s MVP award just three years before as a member of the Sonics.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Chambers knew just how to spark the West after a lackluster start from the starters (A.C. Green, John Stockton, James Worthy and Hakeem Olajuwon combined for just 12 points).
The Suns’ forward came off the bench and poured in 21 points on just 12 shots, adding three rebounds and a steal for good measure. It wasn’t quite enough to secure the win, however, as the East ran away with the 130-113 win.
Charles Barkley – 1993
In one of the many highlights in his first year with the Suns, the soon-to-be MVP of the league started for the Western Conference. He turned in one of the more unselfish All-Star performances you’ll see, particularly from a forward. Barkley finished with 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.
The effort helped the West eke out a 135-132 win over Michael Jordan (30 points, five assists, four steals) and the East.
It’s hard to tell who was technically the starting “small forward” for the West, Barkley or Utah’s Karl Malone (Spurs big man David Robinson started at center). It was Malone (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Jazz teammate John Stockton (nine points, 15 assists) who earned co-MVP honors.
Dan Majerle – 1993
1993 marks one of 22 times Phoenix has sported at least two All-Stars in the same season, and in this case both performed well. Majerle ended up being the sixth man for the West, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in 26 minutes off the bench.
Majerle made sure to do his damage the way Suns fans knew best: from distance. The 6-6 guard hit a game-high three 3-pointers on six attempts, which accounted for 42 percent of the West team’s damage from beyond the arc.
Jason Kidd – 2000
Every All-Star game needs a guy like this: someone who will simply pass the rock and enjoy doing it.
Kidd qualified and then some, especially in the midst of three consecutive years he led the league in assists while playing for the Suns.
This game was no exception: Kidd finished with a game-high 14 assists to go along with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals. When he did shoot, it was usually from deep, where he hit 3-of-6 from three-point range.
With Kidd running the break, the West ran off to a 137-126 win over the East, though the game’s MVP award was shared between San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (24 points, 14 rebounds) and Shaquille O’Neal (22 points, nine rebounds).
Amare Stoudemire – 2007
At this point in their respective careers, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett were no longer the All-Star game stars they had once been.
Enter a hungry Stoudemire in his first full year back after microfracture surgery. Already playing well for the contending Suns, the fifth-year forward erupted for 29 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal off the bench. All of those numbers came in just 21 minutes of play.
The West dominated as a result, routing the East 153-132.
Shawn Marion – 2007
The former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel made his last All-Star appearance worthwhile, finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench.
That year marked fourth time in five years Marion was awarded an All-Star berth. There could easy have been an extra pair of All-Star years given his numbers in the two previous seasons before the honor finally arrived:
2000-01: 17.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.4 bpg, 48FG%
20001-02: 19.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.1 bpg, 46.9FG%, 39.3 3FG%
Shaquille O’Neal – 2009
With the mid-season classic in Phoenix that season, the Suns’ biggest player figured to be the biggest showman. But even the story-hungry public couldn’t have dreamed up the antics the Big Shaqtus had in store.
O’Neal kicked off the night in style by performing on-stage with Jabbawockeez in their pre-game performance. Later and on the court, the Suns big man turned in what might have been the most productive 10 minutes in All-Star history: 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and one block.
Toss in co-MVP honors with Kobe Bryant, and it’s clear the night belonged to O’Neal and the city of Phoenix.