Slam Dunk at 50
Slam Dunk at 50 celebrated the past, recognized the present and opened eyes towards the future of the Phoenix Suns organization.
In honor of their 50th season in the Valley, the Suns held a special event at the Southwest Airlines Hangar at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport filled with Suns legends, jersey reveals and most importantly, generating money for Suns Charities.
“It’s a momentous time tonight kicking off the season,” Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver said. “Obviously it’s a very special season thinking about the history of the franchise and the people that came before me and everything that has been accomplished.”
The Suns brought 50 years of history into a single room for one spectacular night.
“It’s exciting,” Dan Majerle said “I played in the 80’s and 90’s and 2000’s. So I feel like I am a big part of this organization and it will always be a big part of me. So being here for the 50th anniversary, is pretty cool.”
Former teammates, coaches and Suns personnelwere able to rekindle old friendships.
“I’m ready to see Amar’e [Stoudemire] my old teammate,” Jared Dudley said. “I know he got a new hairstyle and everything, but overall it’s good. A lot of people we grew up, we saw their families, their kids and they’re all grown. I’m glad I’m still playing. I’m still here and I get to celebrate it.”
“It’s good to be part of the history,” Gar Heard said. “Most of all it’s always good to see a lot of my old teammates and a lot of new Suns players that I haven’t had an opportunity to meet yet.”
Not only was this a great experience for the players, but for the fans as well. They were able to mingle with the legends and get an up close and personal look at the Suns history.
“The one thing that has been special about the Suns for so long is the fans,” Paul Westphal said. “They really have loved the team. Phoenix has grown with the Suns and it’s really special to be able to connect with the fans.”
The fans got a special treat as the Suns unveiled their newest jersey for the upcoming season: a Hardwood Classic throwback resembling the exact uniform the first Suns team wore back in 1968.
As Devin Booker stood on the stage in the jersey that the Original Sun Dick Van Arsdale once wore, the past was represented by the future and the Suns history came full circle.
“I’m glad to be a part of the tradition here,” Booker said. “The Phoenix Suns is obviously a storied franchise. Legendary players, not just in Phoenix, but all of the NBA that I grew up watching and admiring.”
Every ticket sold to Slam Dunk at 50 and the raffles during the event helped benefit Suns Charities. They announced that they are refurbishing, renovating and building 50 courts throughout Arizona thanks to a $1 million grant approved by Robert Sarver and Phoenix Suns Charities.