We knocked out 25-21 on here for #SUNSRANK for the 2014-2015 Phoenix Suns season with some big names and other faces that will have a say in how the season goes overall. Go back and check out the list from yesterday if you missed it, but lets march forward.
In these rankings some great names were left out of the Top 25 like Casey Prather, Jamil Wilson, Joe Jackson, Earl Barron, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Alec Brown, the Cheerleaders, and the Hip-Hop Squad. They will not be forgotten.
#SUNSRANK is a compilation of 14 writers here on Bright Side that ranked the most important names and faces of the franchise for this one year. This is not a "future rankings" or some Fox News one-sided account of things. Everyone had their own opinion and the rankings are as the staff deemed fit. There were some wild rankings, but we are not going to leak like a sieve a la the NSA in here. We have some integrity.
Check back daily as well as on Twitter for #SUNSRANK where five more names will be released leading all the way down to No. 1. What do you think about these five listed so far?
25-21 20-16 15-11 10-6 5-1
No. 20: Al McCoy (20.142)
Profile: The voice of the Phoenix Suns.
Stats: 42 years and counting making him the longest tenured broadcaster in NBA history.
Interesting Fact: McCoy was the voice of the Arizona Diamondbacks for their inaugural season in 1998. What can't the man do?
Analysis: McCoy probably doesn't get the run he used to. Radio is a far less popular medium for sports than it used to be. Availability of any and every sports competition on high definition television has relegated radio to mop up duty when someone gets stuck in a car at game time. Hell, it's still possible to watch it there. For those of us who are a little (older) more in tune with the tradition of this franchise, however, McCoy's value shouldn't be understated. Broadcasting Suns games since 1972, he has been here for the long haul... and has left an indelible mark on the team's rich history.
Important Question: How (when) do you replace a legend?
No. 18(tie): Robert Sarver (18.5)
Profile: Owner, Phoenix Suns/Phoenix Mercury and Bank connoisseur
Stats: Ten seasons, 478 wins, three Western Conference Finals, one Western Conference Semifinal, and one first round playoff appearance.
Interesting Fact: A Tuscon native who through a conversation with Lute Olson had a conversation with Steve Kerr which led to a conversation about purchasing the Phoenix Suns. Small degrees of separation.
Analysis: Managing Partner Robert Sarver has a bit of a checkered reputation around these parts. He rode into town in the wake of Steve Nash's popularity and on the coattails of Jerry Colangelo's epic 35-year stewardship of the Phoenix Suns. And now, 11 years on, he is finally poised to succeed on his own terms. Having learned the lessons from overseeing the second winningest coach in Suns' history (Mike D'Antoni's .650 winning percentage) and second worst season in franchise history (Beasleyfest 2012!), he seems to have recognized his strengths and limitations as an owner. By delegating player and operations decisions to Lon Babby and Ryan McDonough, he has Phoenix on the cusp of a potentially historic run to end the 2010s. He took a lot of blame as the D'Antoni/Nash/Stoudemire Era came crumbling down. He deserves a lot of credit as the Hornacek/McDonough/Dragić Era begins. -- Mike Lisboa
Important Question: The Billion Dollar Question -- Are the Suns for sale?
No. 18(tie): NBDL/Player Development/Bakersfield Jam (18.5)
Profile: Bakersfield, CA -- Head Coach Nate Bjorkgen -- General Manager Bubba Burrage
Stats: Damion James, Jerel McNeal, and James Nunnally have all been called up to the NBA from Bakersfield
Interesting Fact: The Suns are one of 17 teams with an exclusive partnership with a D-League Team.
Analysis: The Suns D-League affiliate will be very important for the player development of some of the younger players who probably won’t get many minutes for the Suns this year.Tyler Ennis and Archie Goodwin are likely to be among the players sent down to the D-League due to the Suns having seven players at the guard positions. Player development will always play a huge role for a team with a lot of young pieces. The development of Alex Len aka Sir Lencelot, the Morri, and Miles Plumlee will determine how the Suns decide what their front court of the future will look like. -- Austin Elmer
Important Question: What will the free-trade agreement look like with the Suns and Jam?
No. 17: Zoran Dragic (20.5)
Profile: 6'5" 200 lbs. Shooting Guard -- Rookie Slovenia
Stats: With Unicaja Malaga 10.9 PPG 2.6 RPG 1.6 APG 41.3% FG 35.4% 3PT
Interesting Fact: Had 22 points against Mexico in the FIBA World Championships & 26 against Germany in the FIBA U20 Championships.
Analysis: Zoran has been on the basketball radar for years now. in some capacity. He is 25 years old and has played on a National stage for Slovenia since 2005 capped off by his play in the FIBA World Championships this year where he was a major component in Slovenia, a country of roughly two million, medal in a major event. While he is not his brother, Goran Dragic, Zoran has some ying to his brothers yang in terms of on court skill. He is the defender, the bigger of the two, causing deflections and making it tough for the opposition to find easy offense. That will be difficult to duplicate in the hyper athletic world of the NBA, but energy and defensive effort matter. In a crowded backcourt a defensive specialist that can hit threes and has some size will have major value in a marathon season that could culminate in the playoffs for this rookie who will not have the same growing pains his brother had in 2008 when he was a 22 year old rookie. -- Kris Habbas
Important Question: Which set of brothers will have the most impact on the Suns this season?
No. 16: Assistant Coaches/Staff (15.769)
Profile: Mike Longabadi, Mark West, Jerry Sitching, and Kenny Gattison
Stats (Years of NBA Experience): Longabardi (11), West (20), Sitching (25), and Gattison (21)
Interesting Fact: Kenny Gattison used to play pick-up games with Michael Jordan, like, it's no big thang: "It was like any other pickup game. We argued about fouls and everything. This guy traveled. We’re trying to win."
Analysis: I had the assistant coaches and staff ranked below Alex Len and above Marcus Morris. My reasoning here was logic based because I feel like the impact that the assistant coaches and staff can have on a game is above the "fringe rotation players" and below the players that will obviously have an impact on every game they play in. When everyone is healthy I really doubt that there is going to be a game that Morris or any of those players (Tolliver, Warren, Goodwin, Zoran, Ennis) has that will have enough of an impact on the outcome in a positive or negative way. There certainly and hopefully will be games where Len has that sort of impact though and everyone above him is obvious enough for that.
There is of course the most obvious man to talk about here in terms of impact and that's Mike Longabardi. His job defensively has been worth the spotlight he's received, but there's also all of the game prep and adjustments in-game here that the assistants do. A lot of simple logic here in saying the more eyes the better and I'm sure the assistants help Jeff Hornacek pick up on little nuances that could give the Suns a distinct advantage in any game this season. -- Kellan Olson
Important Question: Is Longabardi the Frank Mike Vogel or Eric Spoelstra?
Come back tomorrow for 15-11 in the #SUNSRANK series and follow along on Twitter!
Each ranking will also include one write-in ballot from the writers. We have five tremendous write-in's starting with Garrett Benson:
Write In: Eddie Johnson's Nicknames
Who was single-handedly responsible for the "Plumdog" nickname? Our one and only FSN Suns commentator, Eddie Johnson. That one even got national recognition. Eddie Johnson knows how to get the Suns national attention, and for all the right reasons. What sort of nicknames will he come up with next season? Only EJ knows, but one thing is for sure. We’ll be hearing them all season. -- Garrett Benson