One-On-One With Tom Chambers
Their first season together, they led Phoenix to a 27-game turnaround in 1988-89, the third largest in the NBA at the time, and over the course of five seasons, guided the Suns to three Western Conference Finals appearances and one trip to the NBA Finals in 1993.
In 1993-94, the dynamic duo split up as Chambers moved on, spending a couple of seasons playing alongside Karl Malone and John Stockton in his home state of Utah, and a couple more bouncing between teams. But to Phoenix fans, "Tommy Gun" would always be a Sun.
Upon retiring in 1997, Chambers returned to Phoenix, joining the Suns' community relations staff, and on April 19, 1999 was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor. Joining the former Suns forward for that special night, of course, was his longtime partner Johnson. And on March 7, 2001, Chambers will return the favor, joining Johnson's side for his own retirement ceremony.
But first, Chambers will join his fans from Phoenix, Utah and the rest of the NBA on Tuesday, March 6, in a live online chat to share some of his favorite KJ memories, and to talk about his own 15-year career. Log on at 2:30 p.m. ET to ask a question or just follow along.
hawaiipete from [126.96.36.199], at 2:36pm ET
tom, do you miss playing? how has the game changed since you left?
at 2:36pm ET
Absolutely I miss playing. The game seems to have lost some of its focus. It seems like there are a lot more things entering into the game besides love of the game.
Patricia from [188.8.131.52], at 2:36pm ET
Can you describe what it was like running the pick and roll with KJ?
at 2:37pm ET
It was a perfect play -- I still believe it's the best play you can have in the NBA and we were very well suited for it. It was just a perfect play for us and I'll always remember it as one that was good for about 40 points a game for our team.
jake tempe from [184.108.40.206], at 2:37pm ET
if you had to pick one!!! who would you rather get the ball from?? kj or john stockton?
at 2:38pm ET
KJ for sure. He was always looking for me and I was his number one priority. When I played with John Stockton, Karl Malone was his first priority for obvious reason. The Jazz was their show.
Chad from [220.127.116.11], at 2:38pm ET
Hey Tom... what other former Suns do you think should end up in the Ring of Honor someday?
at 2:38pm ET
I'm happy now that Kevin and Joe Proski are going in this year. I haven't really looked past that. These guys really deserve it, and I'm just happy for them.
Patricia from [18.104.22.168], at 2:38pm ET
What do you remember about those battles between you and KJ, and Stockton and Malone?
at 2:39pm ET
We went for the Western Conference championships a couple times, and they were tremendous matchups. We were a better team during our strong years than the Jazz were, and that's saying a lot because they were a great team.
Tony from [22.214.171.124], at 2:39pm ET
I know you played for the Sonics and even received honors as All-Star MVP while playing for them. I am a huge Suns fan. I loved watching you and KJ kick butt on the Jazz. Which team (Suns or Sonics) do you trully consider your home team and why?
at 2:41pm ET
I truly consider the Suns my home team. The Sonics were looking to trade me, so I decided to leave and selected the Suns for obvious reasons. They had a goal and a committed owner, and I just felt this was where I wanted to be. Then when we found success and got the following of the community, I really loved it, and I still live here today.
Dean Cervantes from [126.96.36.199], at 2:41pm ET
Do you have any thoughts on becoming a NBA coach?
at 2:41pm ET
I'm actually thinking about doing something different. I have a real competitive streak in me. Maybe coaching would be something that might help ease the juices that are flowing right now.
Sam Mac from [188.8.131.52], at 2:42pm ET
KJ averaged 20 points and 10 assists for three seasons, yet only one player's put up those numbers over a season since. Has the game changed that much or was Kevin just that good?
at 2:43pm ET
Kevin was very good -- there aren't many point guards who are capable of that kind of thing. Isiah Thomas could do it every night, but beyond that, they're tough to find. I would compare those two a lot. Kevin was the most explosive guard I've seen and he could just take over a game almost at will. There are very few players like that who have played the point guard position.
edgar t. pants from [184.108.40.206], at 2:43pm ET
what do you miss most from your playing days?
at 2:43pm ET
Just the competition and the comraderie. But like I said, I'm very competitive. Even to watch games now and see things that I would do different gets tough at times.
JARED BRADBURN from [220.127.116.11], at 2:44pm ET
HEY,TOM I THINK YOU ARE ONE PLAYERS IN HISTORY.HERES MY QUESTION,DO YOU THINK SHAWN MARION AND JAKE ARE THE PLAYERS TO BUILD THE FUTURE TEAM AROUND?
at 2:44pm ET
They both have great potential. Already Shawn is playing exceptional basketball -- he's just playing with great energy. Jake has come a long way since the start of the season, he works very hard and he's going to be a great player for this franchise. He could be one of the best centers in the league within a year or two.
Phil from [18.104.22.168], at 2:45pm ET
Who are you current 3 fav Nba players right know and why?
at 2:45pm ET
I like the old guys. One guy I really love to watch is Rasheed Wallace -- just his passion for the game. I think he hates to lose and wants to win at any expense. I just love watching guys I played with like John and Karl because they work so hard every day and they do whatever it takes to win. They're still two of the most consistent players night in and night out.
Guy Hebert from [22.214.171.124], at 2:46pm ET
Hi, Tom! I was just wondering who nowadays you'd compare your game to. I'm thinking along the lines of Dirk Nowitzki, but I could be wrong.
at 2:46pm ET
A lot of people make that comparison, and it's probably a good one. He's an exceptional talent and it's a compliment to me to compare us. He's a great young player and he's really helping those Mavericks get back on track to the playoffs.
Barry from [126.96.36.199], at 2:46pm ET
Hey Tom. Can you talk about your years in Utah, returning home to play with the Jazz. What was that experience like for you?
at 2:47pm ET
It was awesome. I was disappointed when I was released as a Sun. I understood the business aspect of it, but it made me feel so much better to play at home in front of my family. And to go play for a very good team with John and Karl and the legacy they'd built in Utah was awesome.
Sally from [188.8.131.52], at 2:47pm ET
Who's the best guard in the NBA right now? Would you have enjoyed playing with him?
at 2:48pm ET
I would have loved to have played with Jason Kidd. He just has a total work ethic and passion for the game. Just watching him even in practice, he looks to set up other teammates and make the team better. I love watching him and boy would I have loved to play with him.
Barry from [184.108.40.206], at 2:48pm ET
What was your greatest moment playing basketball? Was it the 60 points or maybe reaching the NBA Finals?
at 2:49pm ET
I think the Finals was the pinnacle of my career, but I had so many good moments ... All-Star MVP, 60 points, but when I first came to Phoenix and we were selling out every game, every night was a special night.
Dominic from [220.127.116.11], at 2:49pm ET
Hey Tom, Who was your favorite player growing up?
at 2:50pm ET
I used to watch the ABA when I was in high school, so I'd have to say David Thompson or Dr. J. I didn't watch too much basketball growing up, so those are the only two that really stand out.
Dominic Turmel from [18.104.22.168], at 2:50pm ET
Tom, who was the toughest guy you had to guard at your position during your career?
at 2:50pm ET
I think the hardest for me was Larry Bird. He was just so defensively quick, could pass so well, could shoot -- he was just a real complete player and made me more nervous than anyone else I had to guard.
Phil from [22.214.171.124], at 2:51pm ET
Who do you think has the best chance of leading the NBA in the future Vince Carter allen iverson etc.???
at 2:52pm ET
There are a lot of young guys with potential to lead the league. As soon as they lead their teams to a title, they'll be right up there. Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett -- guys who play every night and don't emphasize how much money their making, only that they want to win.
Gozz from [126.96.36.199], at 2:52pm ET
Who inspired you to start playing the game of basketball?
at 2:52pm ET
I don't think anyone really inspired me -- I played a lot of sports as a kid. Then when I started growing, I focused on basketball, especially when I got up to 6-8, 6-9. It was just something I really enjoyed doing.
Phil from [188.8.131.52], at 2:53pm ET
If you could pick four teams comming out of the East who would you choose?
at 2:53pm ET
Philly will be very good, you have stay with Miami despite their setbacks, the talent of the Knicks, and I think a sleeper might be Milwaukee. Those'd be the four I'd pick.
JD from [184.108.40.206], at 2:53pm ET
What are you doing now that you arent playing basketball?
at 2:54pm ET
I'm working in the community relations department for the Suns, doing different events in the community. Connie Hawkins, John Shumate and myself are just going out into the community and giving back, which is a real priority for Jerry Colangelo.
Sally from [220.127.116.11], at 2:54pm ET
Do you think Danny Ainge should come back and coach the Suns?
at 2:55pm ET
I think Danny's doing exactly what he wants to do. He was too busy and felt like he wasn't with his family enough. I've talked to him a few times and he's much happier now that he has more time to spend with his kids.
Dominic Turmel from [18.104.22.168], at 2:55pm ET
Which NBA team did you get up for the most during your playing days?
at 2:56pm ET
It rotated a bit -- it was always the team that was the best, which for my first 10 years in the league was always the Lakers. Back east it was nice to play teams like Philly, Boston and Detroit. It was always the teams that were the best because we could gauge how well we were really playing.
Jamieson Gill from [22.214.171.124], at 2:56pm ET
what nba team do u like?
at 2:57pm ET
I root for the Suns. I like what we're doing. We've had some setbacks, but I'm hoping we'll come through and do a nice job.
Sean from [126.96.36.199], at 2:57pm ET
What four teams would you pick from the West to challenge the East teams in the playoffs?
at 2:57pm ET
The Lakers, the Blazers, the Spurs and the Jazz are the best teams I believe, even though the Kings have been surprising a lot of people recently.
Tommy Gun from [188.8.131.52], at 2:58pm ET
What would be the perfect day for you -- scoring 60 or spending the whole day on a ranch riding horses?
at 2:57pm ET
I think doing both would be the perfect day, but playing basketball was always my first love, and it gave me the opportunity to own a ranch, which I also love.
Jamieson Gill from [184.108.40.206], at 2:59pm ET
Who do u think will win the nba championship this year?
at 2:57pm ET
I still have to go with the Lakers -- you have to give them the hands-down favorite. I think they'll get through their squabbling once the playoffs start up. And Portland is looking good too with their pickup of Rod Strickland.
Charles Kaufman from [220.127.116.11], at 2:59pm ET
What NBA city was your favorite, and which had the best food?
at 3:00pm ET
I think Seattle has the best food. I love the city and its people. The best city -- I think I played in three great cities in San Diego, Seattle and Phoenix.