Ranking players before the season seems to be all the craze this summer. So to take a break from analyzing team needs, fits, strengths, and weaknesses - the combination of SB Nation Arizona and the guys at Bright Side Of The Sun ranked the 25 most important faces for the Phoenix Suns coming into this season. Of course we had a little fun with it.
The criteria is pretty simple, who do we, as individuals, fell is the most important person in the franchise this season.
If you look at most franchises there are people that are extremely pivotal to the success of the year and others that are just there. Sure, someone will come out of nowhere and surprise us showing that they are more important than originally anticipated, but, until then, this is our ranking and we are sticking to it.
Our esteemed panel consisted of Jim Coughenour, Alex Laugan, Jacob Padilla, Leiland Tanner, the 7footer, and of course myself -- Kristofer Habbas.
Hello Suns Rank Top 10! Before we get to No. 1 we have to get through 10, 9, 8, 7... I think you see where I am going with this:
10. Dan Majerle (8.33)
13th Year With The Suns
Position: Assistant Coach
Dan Majerle began his Suns career to boos and catcalls as an undersized power forward. He quickly became a fan favorite and now is part of the fabric of the Suns franchise. His next step is to develop these kids the way he developed his own game. -- Alex Laugan
9. Alvin Gentry (8.83)
Ninth Year The The Suns
Position: Head Coach
One of two things is going to happen this summer. Either the brain trust (Babby and Blanks, numbers 19 and 24 respectively) returns or Head Coach Alvin Gentry returns. I do not say that with certainty, but I am confident that the mix is not right between management and coaching in terms of philosophy. Taking into consideration Gentry's time here in Phoenix which has included a trip to the Western Conference Finals with a fraction of the talent that his predecessor had while keeping things a float as a .500 team since then it is pretty obvious the man can coach. He doesn't deserve all the credit, but winning 73 games the past two seasons with that roster means something. -- Kristofer Habbas
8. Jared Dudley (7.33)
Fifth Year With The Suns
Jared Dudley is something of an enigma among NBA players. Usually it's the superstar player on the team who gets the most media face-time and fills the role of the team spokesman. However, someone forgot to tell that to Dudz. Whether he's guest starring on ESPN First Take, uploading exclusive content through his twitter feed ala "JMZ"/"JSPN", or rallying the team and the crowd through his inspirational play on the court, Dudley has become one of the most popular players for the Suns despite being a borderline starter. Don't get me wrong, JYD is certainly a valuable piece to the Suns team on the court as well, but his status as a team-leader and fan-favorite transcend his ability as just a player. -- Jim Coughenour
7. Eddie Johnson (6.66)
Position: Color Announcer
EJ is a man. His voice is like listening to smooth jazz and I mean that in a cool way -- not in the "I want to poke my eyes out" way. By my account he is by far the best color analyst Suns TV has ever had. He's level headed, funny, and he constantly educates as to how the game of basketball is played what coaches and players experience on the professional level. I think someday he'd be a good addition to the Suns coaching staff... besides, the dude could probably still step out on the court and shoot better than 90% of the players currently on the Suns roster. - Leiland Tanner
6. Marcin Gortat (6.16)
Third Year With The Suns
Can the Polish Hammer be as effective without Steve Nash? That is the wrong question. The real burning question is how will Dwight Howard cope with being schooled by his former back-up? Ok that is not a realistic reality, but the fact is Gortat is going to be relied upon to be one of the top scorers, rebounders, defenders, and even leaders on the court this year. With Howard he was an efficient back-up in limited minutes and with Nash he was an All-Star caliber double-double machine; time to see who the real Marcin Gortat is. -- Kristofer Habbas
If my math is serving me correctly all but one player has been named, all the coaches, and even Eddie Johnson... What does the Top 5 have in store for us?
What do you think of the list so far? Were we unfair to those listed? Is your favorite player, coach, or Suns personnel member not listed? Well, that is a good thing because the list is in reverse order going from 25-1, remember?