With the Basketball Hall of Fame inducting its newest members this weekend in Springfield -- Massachusetts, not the fictional home of the Simpsons -- it seemed like the perfect time to cast my vote for a few Suns who should be enshrined in the near future. They range from the obvious to the most likely absurd, but in my mind, they all deserve a spot among the game's best for all of eternity.
No. 5 Tom Chambers:
Sure, he may be the biggest critic of my decision to wear bowties to every home game, but that shouldn't prevent Tom Chambers from having a spot in the hall. TC's career averages of 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game are worthy of inclusion and that's before you realize he is the owner of a 60 point game, four all-star appearance, an all-star MVP award, one of the greatest dunks in league history and averaged 21.6 points and 7.1 rebounds a game as a playoff starter. That, and he put together a great video requesting to get in.
No. 4 The Gorilla
He, well I assume GO is a he, may be in the Mascot Hall of Fame but that is not nearly enough. The truth is, he deserves to be in the actual Basketball Hall of Fame. Go ahead, try to name more than three NBA mascots not named The Gorilla. Yeah, didn't think you could do it. He's world famous and has revolutionized the mascot game. Plus a flying primate? How can that not make it to Springfield?
No. 3 Paul Westphal
Sure, many Suns fans remember Paul as a head coach and he was fairly successful at that as he currently has a 318-279 record including a trip to the Finals with Phoenix. He also coached the team to their best single-season record ever. He had an even better playing career though.
As a Sun he averaged 22.5 points, 5.6 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 406 career games. In 12 seasons in the NBA he averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists and 1.3 steals. He is also the only player/coach involved in both triple overtime games in NBA Finals history. Plus, he shares a birthday with me so that helps too.
No. 2 Kevin Johnson:
Kevin Johnson undoubtedly deserves a spot in the hall. He is one of few players in league history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists in a season. Oh, and he did it on four different occasions. The problem is, many fans forget how great he was on the court due to injuries.
Johnson was just as good as the other great guards of his era and also helped resurrect a Suns franchise that found itself on the brink of destruction when he arrived in the late '80s. Don't take my word for it though, Barkley, LeBron and others agree.
No. 1 Cotton Fitzsimmons:
The 14th most wins as a coach in NBA history, coached the 13th most games, two-time coach of the year and isn't in the Hall of Fame? Yeah, something is wrong with that.
Cotton hasn't exactly had the luck of the Irish on his side trying to get to Springfield but it's time for that to change. Add in his influence on the rise of the Suns' franchise, the team's impact on downtown Phoenix and the fact that his name sounds like a fictitious coach from a 1970s sports movie and you've got someone more than worthy of enshrinement.