Phoenix fans share their favorite Chambers memories

Thinking of Tom

I have been a season ticket holder since 1977 and have seen many great players with the Suns, but none better than Tom Chambers.

One of the most beautiful sights these tired old 84-year-old eyes have ever seen is Tom, on a pass from KJ, swoop like a bird across the front of the basket. Tom never dunked from the side as many do, but always from front in one graceful motion.

It was truly a beautiful sight to see!

-- Roberta H. Plunkett, Phoenix, Ariz.

TC's dunk sequence over Mark Jackson.

W hen I think back on Tom Chambers and his playing days with the Suns, two moments stick out the most. Many reading this may recall the time Tom was on a fastbreak against the New York Knicks and dunked over Mark Jackson. I was at that game, sitting in my family's seats behind the backboard on which he slammed the ball. I swear, to this day, that I saw his hands ABOVE the backboard. Seeing a replay, one can tell that his knees were on Jackson's shoulders and helped spring him high. Being there, witnessing that incredible dunk, was an unbelievable moment.

The second memory involves the Suns winning Game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference Finals against the Seattle Sonics. Although Tom was winding his career down with the Suns at the time, he was pivotal in that tense fourth quarter and was instrumental in helping the Suns to their second NBA Finals appearance. I remember seeing him make his patented jumper from 20 feet near the end of the game and make a put-back that helped solidify the win. Again, I was fortunate enough to be at America West that day and can remember being one of the 19,000 fans letting him know that day what he meant to Suns fans everywhere.

The applause may have been for Charles (Barkley), Kevin (Johnson), Dan (Majerle), etc., but everyone in that building knew who had helped build, carry and eventually play a supporting role in getting the Suns to the promised land that year.

-- Robert Rutila, Redwood City, Calif.

My memory of Tom Chambers is probably like a lot of other people. It was the night that he scored 60 points against Seattle on March 24, 1990. But for me, it was a little more special, because it happened to be my grandpa's 60th birthday!

We were cheering loud for the Suns to win when Tom started scoring points like crazy. I think he even had over 30 in the first half alone. I said to my grandpa, "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if he scored 60 points on your 60th birthday?" He said, "Honey, NO Phoenix Suns player has EVER scored 60 points in ANY game!" I told him, "I'll bet he does," and the rest is history.

Thanks, Tom, for bringing a special meaning to the number 60 and congratulations on a wonderful career!

-- Holly Bernstein, Phoenix, Ariz.

Tom Chambers was my favorite Sun for a lot of years. There are too many memories to list them all so I will just relate one memory at the end of his career as a Sun. It was in the playoffs in '93 during the Suns' run to the Finals. I can't remember who they were playing but the Suns were winning. Tom received a pass and went in for a reverse dunk. He was always a wonderful athlete and that just capped off some very athletic dunks he had as a Sun. It is too bad that we couldn't have won a championship for him that year - he definitely deserved it!

-- Dusty McDonald, Sandy, UT

I would first like to thank Tom for all of the memories he has given all of us dedicated Suns fans. He really inspired me, the way he moved and how awesome he shot on the court. He is the reason I started playing basketball myself. Someday I hope to have a carrier like his. He has accomplished so much in his years in the NBA and given a lot of kids goals in life. I grew up watching him play and I'm anxious to see his jersey number hanging from the rafters at AWA.

-- Tim Conner, Peoria, Ariz.

I would just like to say that Tom Chambers was one of my favorite players in Suns history. A few things stand out in my memories of Tom. One was when Tom and Cotton (Fitzsimmons) appeared together on a late night talk show. Another was when Tom scored 60 points against Seattle. Tom couldn't miss that night.

Tom Chambers was one of those players that the other teams were unable to match-up against. As tall as he is, it was fantastic when he would use the crossover and slash to the hoop for one of his slams. I feel that KJ and Tom played a better two-man (backdoor) than Stockton and Malone. In fact, if memory serves me right, the Suns in those years usually took care of the Jazz with Stockton and Malone.

I also remember how Tom (while still in Seattle) ended up on the All-Star team being played in Seattle as a replacement. What a game he played. I believe Tom was named MVP.

It's too bad that many of today's players are not as devoted and professional as Tom Chambers. I wish him the best in life, and he should be remembered as an asset to the NBA.

-- Tom Brode, Chandler, Ariz.

My favorite memory of my favorite player of all time is from a few years ago when, with the Jazz in a playoff game against the Rockets, Tom, standing still, jammed one over Hakeem (Olajuwon). Everyone was stunned, but not me. I was a TC fan for a long time and knew he had it in him. Tom is the most under appreciated player in recent NBA history. At 6-10, he was the most agile player of his size and weight I've ever seen.

Thanks Tom. Us Suns fans never forget.

-- Steve Davis, Elkins, W.Va.

There is one moment I will never forget. Several years ago, my husband and I were with friends at a horse stable. We knew that Tom stabled his horses there and I was hoping to get him to autograph my new Tom Chambers jacket. Sure enough, Tom arrived with a horse he had just bought. We visited with him for a just a few minutes and then I asked him if he would sign my jacket. He agreed and even seemed a little excited. He smiled, held up the jacket and said he hadn't seen that particular jacket before.

Since the signature, I had the jacket cleaned and it hasn't been worn since. It's protected and hanging in the closet as my favorite Suns keepsake.

Thanks Tom for taking the time to visit with one of your fans. And thanks for all the thrills you brought to the game.

-- Nancy and Terry Glenn, Surprise, Ariz.

I would just like to share a project I completed for CIS 185 at Arizona State University, Fall Semester, 1998. We were to create a Web site about something we liked. Some people chose their favorite animal or music group or sports team. I chose Tom Chambers.

I chose Tom as I have been a big fan for a LONG time. Well, since he began playing in Phoenix in 1988. (Wow, that was 10 years ago!).

Thanks for the memories, Tom. You're fantastic!

-- Dece Starks, Mesa, Ariz.

My favorite memory of Tom Chambers is when he skied for that dunk (against New York) and slammed it home. He was so high his knees were in the guy's face as he dunked over him. Tom, thanks for all the memories and putting the Suns in the spotlight with all those great pick and rolls with KJ. Thanks for all the great years with the Suns!

-- Jason Smith, Provo, UT

I was 18 years old playing in the all-Native American Western tourney in Denver, Colo. I was on the Northern all-tourney team (and won the slam dunk contest), and as a starter, was on the bench at the end of the game, being played at McNichols Arena before a Nuggets-Sonics game. I was looking down, untying my shoes, when next to me sat down another person, with huge feet. They were much bigger than mine and I wear 13s. I looked up and who did I see but Tom Chambers. I did not say anything, but I will always remember my own personal brush with NBA stardom.

Who can ever forget that face-to-rim-level dunk on Action Jackson! Tom Chambers, you were a player!

-- Enos Baker, Phoenix, Ariz.

I originally became a Phoenix Suns fan after the first game that I attended, I believe in the late '80s. Our seats were seven rows from the floor and this was the best game I ever attended as Tom Chambers scored 60 points and was awesome to watch. From that game on, I have become a true Phoenix Suns fan, even after moving up to Utah three years ago. Tom hooked me for good on Suns basketball after that game.

-- Laurel Giffin, Plain City, UT

We were excited to read that you are going to be honoring Tom Chambers. As loyal TC fans, it is our pleasure to share with your readers some of our most fond memories of Tom. He was, and always will be, our favorite son.

When Shawn and I were in the eighth grade, Tom was entering his first season as a Phoenix Sun. As we began to follow the "Blonde Bomber," we came up with the idea of creating the "Tom-O-Meter." As many of your readers know, Tom has always been noted for his ability to score and the Tom-O-Meter let us keep track of his points during games at the Madhouse on McDowell. One of our greatest memories was when Tom waved us down during his pre-game warmups to sign the Tom-O-Meter.

Some of our other memories stem from his actions on the court. For instance, we were both at the game on March 24, 1990, when Tom scored 60 against his old team.

Another great memory for us is what turned out to be his last start as a Phoenix Sun; Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 1993. It was so great to see Tom come off the floor and hug Charles Barkley, as both knew that their next game would be in the Finals.

Bur perhaps our greatest memory of Tom is his attempt at a comeback with the Suns last season. When he checked into the preseason game, he finally received the ovation he deserved. We got to dust off the Tom-O-Meter one last time. Tom scored a few baskets and let the "meter" work again.

We could go on and on about him. But we would just like to end by saying "Thanks for the memories Tom."

-- "The Tom-O-Meter Guys," Shawn Fisher and Justin Hastings

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