Jerry Colangelo: Through the Years
January 1, 2012
Jerry Colangelo was born November 20, 1939.
Jerry grew up in the "Hungry Hill" neighborhood of Chicago Heights playing both baseball and basketball.
Jerry was better known, however, for his ability on the basketball court.
His first work in the NBA came with the Chicago Bulls.
Jerry would join the Suns in 1968, becoming the youngest General Manager in sports.
Jerry meets with the Phoenix media upon his arrival.
Jerry poses with Mayor Milt Graham, Suns Head Coach Johnny "Red" Kerr and Selinda King, the winner of the "Name the Team" contest.
At the original home for the Suns - the Veterans Memorial Coliseum - Jerry proves he is still an outstanding shooter.
While Jerry originally joined the Suns as a general manager, he would wear many hats before his time in the Valley was through.
Among those hats was the role of head coach, a job he enjoyed twice during his tenure.
During the 1969-70 season, Jerry guided the Suns to a 24-20 mark to close out the season.
Jerry is interviewed by Hot Rod Hundley, the voice of the Suns during the early 70s.
The strong finish for Phoenix helped earn the organization a playoff berth.
During the 1972-73 season, Jerry coached names including Neal Walk, Connie Hawkins and the "Original Sun" Dick Van Arsdale.
On October 6, 1974 the Coliseum was victim of a rainout due to a roof leak.
In 1975, Master of Ceremony McLean Stevenson was on hand when the city of Phoenix was awarded its first All-Star Game.
Colangelo and then-Head Coach John MacLeod announce the pairing of the Van Arsdale brothers after the Suns acquired Tom Van Arsdale in a 1976 trade with Buffalo.
In 1976, the Phoenix Suns advanced all the way to their first NBA Finals.
Jerry plays the role of spectator as the Suns enter the 1980s.
Toward the end of the 1980s, Jerry led a group of investors who purchased the Phoenix Suns.
During his retirement ceremony, Suns legend Connie Hawkins is thanked by Jerry for his outstanding efforts.
The team won a combined 109 games during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons.
The strong close to the decade was in large part attributed to rising stars like Kevin Johnson.
Jerry helped honor Suns legend Alvan Adams when he retired as a Sun in 1988.
In 1988, Tom Chambers signed with Phoenix as the first unrestricted free agent in NBA history.
Jerry talks with another former coach and current TNT analyst Hubie Brown.
In 1990, Head Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons and the Suns opened their season against the Jazz in Japan.
Jerry honors Suns Head Cotton Fitzsimmons following career win 700.
After leading a group of investors in purchasing the franchise for $44.5 million in 1987, Colangelo led the charge on a new home for the Suns in downtown Phoenix.
The construction on the $89 million arena would be completed on June 1, 1992.
Offseason acquisition Danny Ainge is introduced to the Phoenix media.
While the Suns came up short in the 1993 NBA Finals, the fans still came out to show Jerry and the team their appreciation.
The voice of the Suns, Al McCoy celebrates the successful season with his good friend Jerry.
Through the draft as well as the signing and re-signing of players, Jerry has always done his best to produce a winning team in the Valley.
He has also remained close with friends made throughout the years in the Suns organization.
Beloved in Phoenix, Jerry also remains popular in his hometown in Chicago Heights as well.
On April 1, 2001, Jerry and his long-time assistant Ruthie Dryjanski helped induct trainer Joe Proski into the Ring of Honor.
Jerry has kept some pretty exclusive company, including former US President George Bush.
Jerry helped make a major decision when the Suns drafted ninth overall in 2002.
Jerry is confident that he and the Suns have made the right pick.
Among Jerry's most overlooked traits is his ability to scout talent.
Amaré Stoudemire would go on to receive Rookie of the Year honors for Phoenix and in 2007 was named to the All-NBA First Team.
Jerry takes on the role of actor for a television commercial.
Jerry helps induct fan favorite Dan Majerle into the Ring of Honor.
The Jerry Colangelo Roast was one of many ways in which he has given back to the community.
The popular broadcast team of McCoy and Fitzsimmons spend some time with Jerry.
The event helped to raise $725,000 for Phoenix Suns Charities and Arizona Diamondbacks Charities.
The Roast also helped Jerry display a little bit of his sense of humor.
Elite company at the event included not only David Stern, but Major League Basketball Commissioner Bud Selig.
Since its inception in 1987, Suns Charities has raised approximately $70 million to help assist the needs of children and families in Arizona.
Suns Charities also makes grants to over 80 non-profit organizations that serve children and families in the areas of health and human services.
Jerry helps induct former Suns forward Charles Barkley into the Ring of Honor.
Jerry Colangelo has been named among The Sporting News' most powerful people in sports over the last decade.
In 2004, Jerry Colangelo returned the Suns to the elite status they enjoyed in the early 1990s.
In April 2004, Colangelo unveiled a plan for the Suns' future that included the sale of the team to a group led by banking and real estate executive Robert Sarver for an NBA record $401 million.
The 2004 offseason included the return of point guard Steve Nash to the Suns organization.
In 2004, Jerry would join former Suns legend Connie Hawkins among some very exclusive company.
Jerry was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April of 2004.
The honor was one of many Colangelo has received for his efforts both on and off the basketball court.
Jerry shows off his newest honor in front of the hometown fans in Phoenix.
Through the years, Jerry has remained active in the Phoenix community and promoting the game of basketball to local youth.
From his earlier years through today, Jerry remains a favorite of both the local and national media.
Jerry with Coach of the Year Cotton Fitzsimmons who preceeded him in the Ring of Honor.
Jerry has been joined many times by his son Bryan Colangelo who would eventually join the Toronto Raptors.
Jerry presents Nash with one of his two consecutive MVP Awards.
That 2004-05 season would not only see Nash awarded the MVP Award, but Mike D'Antoni recognized as Coach of the Year as well.
Jerry's basketball knowledge helped him earn the position of Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men's Team.
Jerry recognizes Shawn Marion and Stoudemire who were named to Team USA.
Jerry enjoys the Suns Education Academy dedication.
Jerry takes home the trophy at the 2007 Basketball Americas Championship, with an Olympic gold in mind in 2008.
Colangelo was the creator of the "Ring of Honor," which he will become a part of on Nov. 4, 2007.