From P.J. (Tucker) to EJ to today, where we now look at the Top Five most important faces for the Suns this year. The list has evolved becoming a precursor to the season where it may not come down to the players on the court, but the entertainment?
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.
Say hello to THE five most important names in Suns Rank:
5. Goran Dragic (5.33)
Fourth Year With The Suns
Position: Point Guard
El Dragon had rocky but well-loved start to his Suns career. His playoff game against hated San Antonio will always rank amongst my best Suns memories ever. Now this young stud is arguably the Suns best current player. -- Alex Laugan
4. Dancers/Hip Hop Squad (5.16)
Moving and Grooving in our hearts for years
So what if the Suns are re-building? So what if they may not make the playoffs, or even break .500 for the next couple of years? No Nash? No Problem! The Suns have the hottest...err...best dancers in the NBA, hands down. Their half-time show alone is worth the price of a ticket. As long as the Suns Dancers stay stocked with the best talent from in and around the ASU campus, the fans in Phoenix will always have something to cheer for. -- 7footer
3. The Gorilla (4.33)
33rd Year With The Suns
When I was five years old I sustained an injury to my knee which resulted in hospitalization. My knee had swollen up to several times its normal size and the doctors were somewhat nonplussed as to the exact reason why. I was scheduled to undergo surgery as the doctors became fearful that I may lose the leg. The day before the operation, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla visited the children's wing of the hospital. He came to my bed and had me get up to give him a high five.
Shortly after the Gorilla's visit there was noticeable detumescence in the knee. I was released from the hospital (without surgery) two days later and the doctors weren't able to give my parents a definitive reason why the swelling had subsided.
Not only is the Gorilla the best mascot in all of sports, he works miracles. -- Jim Coughenour
2. Al McCoy (2.66)
40th Year With The Suns
Position: Play-by-Play Announcer
Shazzam! For the last 40 years, Al McCoy has been the voice of the Phoenix Suns and his catchphrases have become synonymous with Suns basketball. Al is a man, a myth, a legend. The day he puts down the mic for good will be a sad, sad day on Planet Orange. - Jacob Padilla
1. Aaron Nelson (2.66)
20th Year With The Suns
Position: Head Athletic Trainer
A Nobel Peace Prize would be more appropriate, but unfortunately my vote for that was denied for the 25th consecutive year. Nelson is the best in the world at everything he does, which is helping the hobbled and physically enabled become abled again. Over the years he has worked more miracles than the Gorilla no matter what Jim said earlier. Without Nelson careers would have stalled, the Suns would have been mediocre, and history as we know it would not be. If McCoy is the voice and the Gorilla is the face, then no question Nelson is the hands of the Phoenix Suns; that is an awkward look if you try to visualize it. - Kristofer Habbas
Aaron Nelson is the top free agent draw for this franchise and for a good reason. We all take players' health for granted, but no other trainer could have gotten as many quality games out of Nash, Hill, Shaq, Redd and Amare. -- Alex Laugan
Aaron Nelson has been the magic behind Phoenix fountain of youth constantly coming up with new ways to keep the Suns' biggest investments, the players, performing at top condition and defying the laws of nature. Although the Suns are re-building and no longer have the superstar vets on the team, Nelson is sure to be the key to the Suns health, and hopefully, their success for years to come. -- 7footer
There once was a magical trainer,
A nurturer and a sustainer.
To heal and to mend,
Was his work to no end,
His number one spot's a no brainer. -- Jim Coughenour
There once was a basketball team,
With a trainer held in high esteem,
He kept players healthy,
And made them quite wealthy,
And to fans a wizard he did seem -- Jacob Padilla
Well that is a Top 25. As you can see the entertainment is key between the soothing voice of Al McCoy, the routines or the dancers, and the overall mastery of the Gorilla. Welcome to the 2012-2013 season.
What do you think of the list? Were we unfair to those listed? Is your favorite player, coach, or Suns personnel member lower than you think?