NBA 2K16 Will Feature 2004-05 Suns
For years, those who were Suns fans and played NBA 2K were at least half-disappointed. Each year, the popular video game series' latest edition would include several "classic" teams iconic to their era and replete with memorable talent.
Each year, the Suns were shut out.
It seemed like a travesty. It's not like there weren't a lot of great Suns teams to choose from. There's a reason Phoenix holds the fourth-highest winning percentage in league history.
Now, finally, the purple-and-orange frustration is over.
— NBA 2K 2K16 (@NBA2K) September 3, 2015
This is almost too appropriate. The game is slated to be released on Sept. 29, almost exactly one month before two-time MVP Steve Nash -- who led the '04-05 Suns to a franchise record-tying 62 wins -- will be enshrined the Suns Ring of Honor.
The timing is also perfect in a broader scope. The defending champion Golden State Warriors' success was billed by many as a ending to the revolution that Nash and Co. began. The NBA's plodding, grind-it-out style of play has been washed away. In its place is league-wide mimicry of the defining Suns teams of the mid-2000s: pick-and-roll basketball surrounded by elite athleticism, shooting and spacing.
From a pure gameplay standpoint, the inclusion of the '04-05 Suns is a win for everyone. The team features some of the best talent from its season, including:
- Steve Nash: NBA Most Valuable Player and assists leader
- Amar'e Stoudemire: league's fifth-leading scorer and best finisher (only one in top 10 scoring to shoot above 50 percent)
- Shawn Marion: only player that season to average at least 19 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and one block per contest
- Quentin Richardson: league-leader in three-pointers made
- Joe Johnson: well-rounded guard averaged over 17 points, five rebounds and three assists per game while shooting 47.8 percent from three.
This squad's talent will join other video game predecessors in representing the Suns well. The original NBA Jam featured 1992-93 NBA MVP Charles Barkley and All-Star guard Kevin Johnson. NBA Live 95 boasted Barkley (you had to create him, then his real bio and ratings would appear), Johnson, Dan Majerle, Danny Manning, Wesley Person and Wayman Tisdale, among others. The original NBA 2K (released in 1999) included All-NBA First Team guard Jason Kidd.
The only question now? How many hours will Suns fans set aside to relive one of the best seasons in franchise history?