The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded on 1968 The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, and are the only team in their division not to be based in California. Since 1992, the Suns have played their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.
The Suns were one of two franchises to join the NBA at the start of the 1968–69 season, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks. They were the first major professional sports franchise in the Phoenix market (and the entire state of Arizona), and would be the only one for 20 years until the Cardinals of the National Football League relocated from St. Louis in 1988. The team played its first 24 seasons at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, located northwest of downtown Phoenix. The franchise was formed by an ownership group led by local businessmen Karl Eller, Don Pitt, Don Diamond, Bhavik Darji, Marvin Meyer, and Richard Bloch, and also part of the group were entertainers Andy Williams, Bobbie Gentryand Ed Ames. There were many critics, including then-NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy, who said that Phoenix was "too hot", "too small", and "too far away" to be considered a successful NBA market. This was despite the fact that the Phoenix metropolitan area was (and still is) growing rapidly, and the Suns would have built-in geographical foes in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The Suns nickname was among 28,000 entries that were formally chosen in a "Name the Team" contest sponsored by the Arizona Republic; the winner was awarded $1,000 and season tickets to the inaugural season. Suns was preferred over Scorpions, Rattlers, Thunderbirds, Wranglers, Mavericks, Tumbleweeds, Mustangs and Cougars.
Logos and Uniforms
Since their debut, the Suns home uniforms are always white with purple and orange trim. On the road their uniforms are purple with white and orange trim, with accents of black during the 1990s and gray on the current versions. They also had a black alternate uniform from 1994–2000.
Entering the team's 2015–16 season, NBA 2K16 leaked out a minor upgraded court design for the Suns, replacing the "SUNS" ambigram on the center with the Sunburst found in the team's main logo, as well as added "WE ARE PHX" on the long sidelines, added purple coloring for the lines within the court, and updated the team's arena name on the side. The Suns would also reveal two different alternative jerseys in the process. The first one would be a black alternative jersey where the team would have a black jersey with PHX on front (with a white outline) representing the team's slogan for the season, while the second would be the orange alternative jerseys without sleeves on them. The Suns released the new alternate black uniform and court design on September 8, 2015.
Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix
The Suns Gorilla is one of the more famous mascots in the NBA. For the first eleven seasons of their existence in the NBA, the Suns had no official mascot. An early attempt was made involving a sunflower costume, but it never caught on. In the winter of 1980, a singing telegram (sent by James Oberhaus, a loyal fan) named Henry Rojas from Eastern Onion Telegram service was sent to the arena in a gorilla costume. Security saw him and suggested to him to stay for a while to entertain the fans during the breaks. He kept coming to games until officially invited to be the Suns' mascot.
Since then, the gorilla, named Go, has been known for his slapstick humor during the games such as his stadium stairs all to the sound of the Rocky Theme, and the fantastic dunks that are performed before each 4th quarter. Also, one of his more beloved skits was at a Knicks home game where he came out to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York", wearing a hat, with several pieces of garbage stuck to his leg. Halfway through the song, a group of "muggers" attacked him, and he staggered off the court afterwards. The gorilla was honored in 2005 when he was selected to be one of three inaugural members of the Mascots Hall of Fame.
Conference titles: 2 (1976, 1993)
Division titles: 6 (1981, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Official website: http://www.nba.com/suns/