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SUNS RANK: 15-11 Includes two Phoenix Suns players, entertainment, and a President finally put in a position to succeed

Who is the most important person in the franchise for the 2013-2014 Phoenix Suns? We count down 25-1 to figure out just that...


As we creep closer and closer into to the Top 10 most important people in the Phoenix Suns franchise there are no more trades, signings, or moves that can shake-up what we, the Bright Side Staff, have delegated as the most crucial elements to the teams success.

Sometimes people (or players) are not put in the best position to be successful. That was the case for the team last year from the players to the front office.

This year everything is starting to fall into place and the pieces are fitting. The team has an owner, a president, a general manager, a coach, and players that all know their role with the team. One is not trying to be the other and the others are doing their jobs, and doing them well.

Before we head into the Top 10 there are a few names to check off of the list:


25-21 << 20-16 << 15-11 << 10-6 << 5-1


No. 15: Marcus Morris (14.0)

Profile: 6-9 235 lbs. Forward -- Third Year Kansas

Stats: (Pre-Season) In 18.1 MPG 6.7 PPG 3.3 RPG 1.3 APG 42.9% FG 42.9% 3PT (9/21)

Interesting Fact: Marcus is the fifth twin brother to play for the Suns

Analysis: I had Mook ranked as the 9th player on my list, behind Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Alex Len, Marcin Gortat, Archie Goodwin, Channing Frye and his twin brother Markieff. I think that's pretty fair, although it's a toss-up with his brother. The other seven players ahead of him are either better now or will be more important to the team moving forward. Marcus has shown some potential as a corner 3-ball shooter, but his slow feet and spotty shot-selection means he still has a ways to go before becoming a regular rotation player and positive contributor. - Jacob Padilla

Important Question: Can Marcus become the third play-maker the team desperately needs?

No. 14: Lon Babby (13.0)

Profile: President of Basketball Operations -- Fourth Year Lehigh

Summer Stats: Fired Lance Blanks, Hired Ryan McDonough, and helped manage perfect game of a summer as the catcher to his general managers pitcher

Interesting Fact: Lon Babby was a defense attorney for John Hinckley Jr., the man who accused of attempting to assassinate Ronald Regan. Then, 30 years later, he defended Michael Beasley, the man accused of impersonating an NBA player.

Analysis: Babby is a numbers guy. He is a relationship guy. He is a people person. Agents, if you didn't know this, are very good talent evaluators for their sport. They are the scouts that found a different avenue to make money in the game they love. That is all relevant for Babby in particular because during his first few years he failed at leveraging his strengths and unfortunately that accentuated his weaknesses. He has an eye for talent that he knows will draw money, but in the role of deciding who will produce on the court for the Suns the past few years he fell short on evaluating the person, not the player, the fit, not the talent. Now he can step to the side and work with General Manager Ryan McDonough on the details, financial impacts, and value of a player. Right where he should have been a few years ago. -- Kris Habbas

Important Question: What kind of moves can the businessman make now that he has the flexibility and the basketball mind he needs?

No. 13: P.J. Tucker (12.0)

Profile: 6-6 224 lbs. Small Forward -- Second Year Texas

Stats: (Pre-Season) In 21.3 MPG 8.1 PPG 4.4 RPG 1.7 SPG 45.8% FG

Interesting Fact: Tucker's first name is Anthony Leon, but "P.J." stands for "Pop's Junior" after his father who was a hard hitting baseball prospect back in his time.

Analysis: Tucker is the embodiment of what hustle and hard work can do for not only the success of player, but a team as well. Tucker is essential in giving this group of young players a role model with a "never say die" attitude, and a shining example of how to play with a chip permanently embedded in your shoulder.  Tucker is a rare breed in the league, a rags-to-riches story of a player who earned his roster spot not on the merit of his talent or draft status, but through earning it consistently through pure effort and dedication.  Although Tucker won't provide the Suns with a game changer this season, I think he is an excellent example for the other young players around him....Which ultimately means more than just wins at this point. - Sean Sullivan

Important Question: Where does get his minutes with Green and Marcus Morris on board?

No. 12: Gorilla (11.0)

Profile: Mascot -- 34th Year The Jungle

Career Stats: Too many trampoline dunks to count...

Interesting Fact: Other than Slamson, an Evangelical Lion, the Suns are the only Pacific Division team with a mascot. Seriously, an Evangelical Lion?

Analysis: I ranked the Gorilla in the top ten, highest of all the staff writers, and I stand by that. While the Suns team loses, they need to keep their Brand strong. And the best way to do that is bring the Gorilla back to prominence. Back in the old days, the hairy SOB was THE timeout entertainment and he made himself a legend as the best mascot in the league. These days, he's getting lost amid the Solar Squad, dancers and Tom Zenner. He still has a role, but it's getting smaller and smaller. Make a comeback, G! Save us from the Zenner! - Dave King

Important Question: Can the Gorilla rise back to the top?

No. 11: Dancers/Hip-Hop Squad (11.0)

Profile: 18 Girls Dancing and 14 People Hopping -- Forever Phoenix

Stats: Dancing and hopping their ways into the hearts of fans for years.

Interesting Fact: One of the dancers, Carin Malm, is a former Miss New Mexico!

Analysis: I actually went on a run of six things, some were write-ins, that will make the games more interesting than (potentially) the Suns on court escapades.  I affectionately labeled this cluster the "making the bloodbaths more entertaining" section.  I actually went 6-11 with these and had the dancers a little bit higher.  Feel free to form whatever opinions you may knowing that other staff writers put them lower.  Music, verve and choreography from cheerful, scantily clad women with team spirit. They work hard and I enjoy it.  Sounds like a symbiotic relationship to me. - Jim Coughenour

Important Question: Do these girls have full medical to cover the depression medication they'll need to take to get through the season?

Come back tomorrow for 10-6 in the #SUNSRANK series and follow along on Twitter!


Write-In Ballot: Michael Beasley's Empty Locker (Jacob)

Profile: About 6-7 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide, and full of the lifestyle of an NBA player.

Stats: Many memorable quotes, lots of negative energy, and a fair share of post-game meals.

Interesting Fact: The locker is now home to Eric Bledsoe.

Analysis: I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Micheal Beasley was one of the worst players in the entire league last year and incredibly frustrating to watch (and play with too I'm sure). He's gone after agreeing to a buy-out (good luck to Miami, as he's their problem now) and that means the Suns made one of the biggest addition by subtraction moves in the NBA this offseason (I ranked it No. 3 on my list). The offense should be more free-flowing and the defense should be more cohesive without Beasley disrupting the Suns with his play on both ends. -- Jacob Padilla

Important Question: Has the stink worn off?

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