1992–93 Phoenix Suns season

Phoenix Suns 25th anniversary logo
A ticket for Game 4 of the 1993 Western Conference Finals between the Seattle SuperSonics and the Suns at the Seattle Center Coliseum

The 1992–93 NBA season was the 25th season for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. During the offseason, the Suns acquired All-Star forward Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers, and signed free agent Danny Ainge. The Suns had a successful season posting a 14-game winning streak in December which led them to a 21–4 start, then posted an 11-game winning streak between March and April to finish with an NBA-best 62–20 record. The team set the franchise record for most wins in a season (the record was later tied in the 2004–05 season). Barkley won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led the team to its second trip to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Suns faced elimination as they trailed 2–0 against the 8th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. However, they won the next three games to advance in the semifinals, where they defeated the San Antonio Spurs in six games. In the Western Conference Finals, they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in a full seven game series on their way to the Finals before losing in six games to the Bulls.

The season saw the debut of the new "Streaking Sun" logo, which was featured on the team's new jerseys. The new logo and uniforms would last until 2000. The season was also the Suns first at the new America West Arena (later renamed Talking Stick Resort Arena). The new arena had a regular season attendance of 779,943 in 41 home games, the fifth highest total attendance in the league. The team sold-out the capacity 19,023 arena every game of the season.

Barkley and Dan Majerle were both selected for the 1993 NBA All-Star Game. Point guard Kevin Johnson played just 49 games due to injury, averaging 16.1 points and 7.8 assists per game. Following the season, Tom Chambers signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Utah Jazz.

Offseason

NBA Draft

The Suns used their first-round pick to select center Oliver Miller from Arkansas. Miller averaged 12.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game through four years with the Razorbacks. Miller would go on to play two seasons with the Suns before signing with the Detroit Pistons as a free agent in 1994. He would later return to the Suns in the 1999–2000 season. Second-round picks Brian Davis and Ron Ellis were not signed by the Suns. Davis would later play with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1993–94 season, while Ellis never played in the NBA.

Trades

America West Arena

On June 17, 1992, the Suns traded former All-Star Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry, and Andrew Lang to the Philadelphia 76ers for All-Star forward Charles Barkley. Barkley would play four seasons with the Suns before being traded to the Houston Rockets in 1996. Hornacek would play less than two seasons with the Sixers, Perry would play less than four, and Lang only one. Many consider the trade to be the best in Suns history.

Free agency

The Suns key off-season signing was veteran shooting guard Danny Ainge. Ainge would spend his last three seasons in the NBA with the Suns. Point guard Frank Johnson was signed to back-up All-Star Kevin Johnson. Forward/center Tim Kempton was signed, but played sparingly throughout the season. Small forward Alex Stivrins was picked up in the off-season, but later waived. He would return with two 10-day contracts later in the season, but was again waived.

Roster

Phoenix Suns roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.#Nat.NameHeightWeightDOB (Y-M-D)From
PG7United StatesJohnson, Kevin6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)180 lb (82 kg)1966–03–04California
PG32United StatesKnight, Negele6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)175 lb (79 kg)1967–03–06Dayton
PG3United StatesJohnson, Frank6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)185 lb (84 kg)1958–11–23Wake Forest
G22United StatesAinge, Danny6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)175 lb (79 kg)1959–03–17BYU
G/F9United StatesMajerle, Dan6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)215 lb (98 kg)1965–09–09Central Michigan
SF21United StatesDumas, Richard6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)200 lb (91 kg)1969–05–19Oklahoma State
SF23United StatesCeballos, Cedric6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1969–08–02Cal State Fullerton
PF34United StatesBarkley, Charles6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)252 lb (114 kg)1963–02–20Auburn
PF24United StatesChambers, Tom6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)220 lb (100 kg)1959–06–21Utah
PF0United StatesMustaf, Jerrod6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)238 lb (108 kg)1969–10–28Maryland
F/C8United StatesKempton, Tim6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)245 lb (111 kg)1964–01–25Notre Dame
C41United StatesWest, Mark6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)230 lb (104 kg)1960–11–05Old Dominion
C25United StatesMiller, Oliver6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)280 lb (127 kg)1970–04–06Arkansas
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Salaries

Regular season

In 1992, the Suns moved into their new arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena (now Talking Stick Resort Arena). The arena was not the only new arrival into Phoenix though, as flamboyant all-star power forward Charles Barkley was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry. Barkley would go on to win his first and only MVP in his first year with Phoenix in 1993.

In addition to Barkley, the Suns added some key players to their roster, amongst them Danny Ainge. The organization also drafted a player out of UArkansas: center Oliver Miller. Also making his Suns debut was their 1991 first round draft pick, Oklahoma State forward Richard Dumas, who missed the previous season due to a drug-related suspension.

Season standings

Record vs. opponents

Game log

1992–93 game log
Total: 62–20 (Home: 35–6; Road: 27–14)
1992–93 season schedule

Playoffs

Under rookie head coach Paul Westphal (a former Suns assistant and, as a player, member of the 1976 Suns squad that went to the NBA Finals), the Suns squad consisting mostly of Barkley, Majerle, Johnson and Ainge won 62 games that year. After eliminating the Lakers (against whom they came back from an 0-2 deficit preventing them from being the first eight-seeded team to eliminate the top seeded team in the first round), Spurs, and Sonics, the Suns advanced to the Finals for the second time in franchise history. They eventually lost to the Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. This series included a triple-overtime game (Game 3) that along with game 4 of the 1976 series are the only triple overtime games in the history of the NBA finals. Approximately 300,000 fans braved the 105 degree heat to celebrate the memorable season in the streets of Phoenix.

Game log

1993 playoff game log
1993 playoff schedule

NBA finals

The 1993 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1992–93 NBA season, featuring the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, and the Phoenix Suns, winners of 62 games and led by regular season MVP Charles Barkley. The Bulls became the first team since the legendary Boston Celtics of the 1960s to win three consecutive championship titles, clinching the "three-peat" with John Paxson's game-winning 3-pointer that gave them a 99-98 victory in Game 6.

  • The Phoenix Suns won game 3 in 3OT, 129-121. Suns Head Coach Paul Westphal became the only person to appear in both triple-overtime finals games. The first was Game 5 of the 1976 contest against Boston, as a player for the Suns, which thus were the only team to appear in two triple-overtime finals games. In 1976, the Suns lost 126-128 against Boston.
  • The Bulls got off to a good start in Game 6 but struggled in the fourth quarter, wasting a double-digit lead to trail 98-94. Michael Jordan made a layup to cut the margin to 2 points, and the Suns missed a shot on their next possession. Trailing 98-96 and facing a Game 7 on the road if they lost that day, John Paxson took a pass from Horace Grant and buried a three pointer with 3.9 seconds left, giving the Bulls a 99-98 lead. The victory was secured by a last-second block from Horace Grant.
  • Michael Jordan, who averaged a Finals-record 41.0 PPG during the six game series, became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards. He joined Magic Johnson as the only other player to win the award three times. The NBA started awarding the Finals MVP in 1969.

Awards and honors

Week/Month

  • Charles Barkley was named Player of the Week for games played December 7 through December 13.
  • Charles Barkley was named Player of the Week for games played March 29 through April 4.
  • Charles Barkley was named Player of the Month for December.
  • Paul Westphal was named Coach of the Month for December.

All-Star

Season

Player statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game

Season

* – Stats with the Suns.
† – Minimum 300 field goals made.

Playoffs

† – Minimum 20 field goals made.

Transactions

Trades

June 17, 1992
To Philadelphia 76ers

United StatesJeff Hornacek
United StatesTim Perry
United StatesAndrew Lang

To Phoenix Suns

United StatesCharles Barkley

Free agents

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1992–93 Phoenix Suns season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.