Fans Choose Suns Team of the ’80s
The Phoenix Suns celebrated the decade that brought us MTV, Pac-Man, Jabba the Hutt and Madonna on Saturday with '80s Night at America West Arena. The first 7,500 fans that arrived for the sold out Suns-Knicks matchup received puzzle cubes. A number of '80s arcade classics were featured throughout the main concourse, plus '80s icons The Romantics entertained with a post-game concert out on the Bud Light Paseo.
Several Suns favorites from the ‘80s were also on hand to sign autographs, including Eddie Johnson, Jeff Cook, John MacLeod, Joe Proski and Mark West, to name just a few. Speaking of naming legends, the evening also included the official announcement of the "Team of the '80s," as chosen by you right here on Suns.com. More than 2,500 fans cast votes over the past week for the top guards, forwards and center of the decade.
Widely considered the best pure shooter in Suns history, Walter Davis played 11 seasons in Phoenix, eight of which came during the '80s. Nicknamed "Sweet D," "The Greyhound" and "The Man with the Velvet Touch," he started out the decade as a starter in the 1981 NBA All-Star Game and also made appearances in the ’84 and ’87 midseason classics. The team's career leader in points averaged 19.3 a game between 1980 and 1988, and had his No. 6 retired by the Suns in 1994.
Kevin Johnson was acquired by Phoenix from Cleveland on Feb. 25, 1988 and went on to become one of the most popular and productive Suns of all time. "KJ" was named the NBA's Most Improved Player in 1988-89, averaging 20.4 points and 12.2 assists a game, and made the first of three All-Star appearances in 1990. Johnson retired as Phoenix's all-time leader in assists, free throws made and free throws attempted, and was inducted into the Suns' Ring of Honor on March 7, 2001.
The first unrestricted free agent in NBA history, Tom Chambers signed with Phoenix on July 5, 1988 and helped transform the Suns into instant title contenders. In closing out the '80s, “TC” played in every game in the 1988-89 and ‘89-90 seasons, made the All-Star team both years and put a stamp on the decade by averaging a team-record 27.2 points a game in ’89-90. Now a Suns television studio analyst and community relations representative, Chambers inducted into the club's Ring of Honor in 1999.
Phoenix's first-round pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, "Leapin' Larry" Nance made his mark as the winner of the NBA's first Slam Dunk Championship in 1984. But Nance could do much more than jam. In six-plus seasons with the Suns, he averaged 17.3 points and 7.8 boards, while shooting a sizzling 56 percent from the floor. The lanky power forward also ranks as the Suns' all-time shot-blocker with 940 career swats.
The team's all-time leader in games played, rebounds and steals, Alvan Adams spent his entire 13-year playing career in Phoenix. The "Oklahoma Kid" played in 614 games in the 1980s, averaging 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds a night before retiring in 1988. Currently the Suns’ vice-president of facility management, “Double A” had his No. 33 retired in Nov. 1988 and is a member of the club’s Ring of Honor.