1992–93 Phoenix Suns season

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1992–93 Phoenix Suns season
Conference Champions
Division Champions
Head coach Paul Westphal
General manager Jerry Colangelo
Owner(s) Jerry Colangelo
Arena America West Arena
Results
Record 62–20 (.756)
Place Division: 1st (Pacific)
Conference: 1st (Western)
Playoff finish Lost in NBA Finals to Chicago (2–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television KUTP
Radio KTAR
< 1991–92 1993–94 >
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 Phoenix Suns season was the 25th season of the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association (NBA). With an NBA-best 62–20 finish, the team set the franchise record for most wins in a season (the record was later tied in the 2004–05 season). Newly acquired forward and regular season MVP Charles Barkley 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 managed to win 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 season was also the Suns first at the new America West Arena (later renamed US Airways Center). The new arena had a regular season attendance of 779,943 in 41 home games, the fifth highest total attendance in the league.[1] The team sold-out the capacity 19,023 arena every game of the season.

The Suns' new logo and uniforms would last until 2000. Following the season, Tom Chambers signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Utah Jazz.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Main article: 1992 NBA Draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 22 Oliver Miller Center  United States Arkansas
2 48 Brian Davis Forward  United States Duke
2 49 Ron Ellis Forward  United States Louisiana Tech

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.[2] 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,[3] while Ellis never played in the NBA.

Trades[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Free agency[edit]

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.[6] Point guard Frank Johnson was signed to back-up All-Star Kevin Johnson.[7] Forward/center Tim Kempton was signed, but played sparingly throughout the season.[8] 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.[9]

Roster[edit]

Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB (Y-M-D) From
SG 22 United States Ainge, Danny 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1959–03–17 Brigham Young
PF 34 United States Barkley, Charles 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 252 lb (114 kg) 1963–02–20 Auburn
SF 23 United States Ceballos, Cedric 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1969–08–02 Cal State Fullerton
PF 24 United States Chambers, Tom 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1959–06–21 Utah
SF 21 United States Dumas, Richard 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1969–05–19 Oklahoma State
PG 3 United States Johnson, Frank 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1958–11–23 Wake Forest
PG 7 United States Johnson, Kevin 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1966–03–04 California
C 8 United States Kempton, Tim 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1964–01–25 Notre Dame
PG 32 United States Knight, Negele 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1967–03–06 Dayton
SG 9 United States Majerle, Dan 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1965–09–09 Central Michigan
C 25 United States Miller, Oliver 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 280 lb (127 kg) 1970–04–06 Arkansas
PF 0 United States Mustaf, Jerrod 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 238 lb (108 kg) 1969–10–28 Maryland
C 41 United States West, Mark 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1960–11–05 Old Dominion
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Mark West Oliver Miller Tim Kempton
PF Charles Barkley Tom Chambers Jerrod Mustaf
SF Richard Dumas Cedric Ceballos
SG Dan Majerle Danny Ainge
PG Kevin Johnson Frank Johnson Negele Knight

Salaries[edit]

Player Salary
Charles Barkley $2,420,000
Tom Chambers $1,885,000
Kevin Johnson $1,850,000
Danny Ainge $1,330,000
Kurt Rambis $1,100,000
Mark West $1,000,000
Jerrod Mustaf $904,000
Ed Nealy $800,000
Dan Majerle $735,000
Oliver Miller $517,000
Tim Kempton $500,000
Negele Knight $469,000
Cedric Ceballos $350,000
Richard Dumas $140,000
Frank Johnson $140,000
Alex Stivrins $140,000
Total $14,280,000

Regular season[edit]

In 1992, the Suns moved into their new arena in downtown Phoenix, the America West Arena (now US Airways Center). 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[edit]

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Phoenix Suns 62 20 .756 35–6 27–14 21–9
x-Seattle SuperSonics 55 27 .671 7 33–8 22–19 22–8
x-Portland Trail Blazers 51 31 .622 11 30–11 21–20 19–11
x-Los Angeles Clippers 41 41 .500 21 27–14 14–27 15–15
x-Los Angeles Lakers 39 43 .476 23 20–21 19–22 13–17
Golden State Warriors 34 48 .415 28 19–22 15–26 9–21
Sacramento Kings 25 57 .305 37 16–25 9–32 6–24
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Phoenix Suns 62 20 .756
2 y-Houston Rockets 55 27 .671 7
3 x-Seattle SuperSonics 55 27 .671 7
4 x-Portland Trail Blazers 51 31 .622 11
5 x-San Antonio Spurs 49 33 .598 13
6 x-Utah Jazz 47 35 .573 18
7 x-Los Angeles Clippers 41 41 .500 21
8 x-Los Angeles Lakers 39 43 .476 23
9 Denver Nuggets 36 46 .439 26
10 Golden State Warriors 34 48 .415 28
11 Sacramento Kings 25 57 .305 37
12 Minnesota Timberwolves 19 63 .232 43
13 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 .134 51

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1992-93 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIA MIL MIN NJN NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA UTA WAS
Atlanta 2–2 3–2 2–2 0–5 1–1 2–0 2–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 3–2 2–0 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–2
Boston 2–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 1–4 3–2 4–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 4–1
Charlotte 2–3 1–3 2–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 4–1 2–0 0–2 0–5 1–1 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–0 2–2 1–3 3–1 4–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0
Chicago 2–2 3–1 3–2 2–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 0–2 5–0 2–0 0–2 3–1 4–1 2–0 4–0 1–3 3–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 4–0
Cleveland 5–0 1–3 3–1 3–2 2–0 1–1 3–2 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–2 4–1 2–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 4–0 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–1
Dallas 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–5 1–1 0–4 1–4 1–1 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–2 1–4 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 0–4 0–4 0–5 1–3 0–5 1–1
Denver 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 5–1 1–1 3–1 2–3 1–1 2–2 1–3 0–2 1–1 3–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 1–4 1–3 2–3 2–0
Detroit 3–2 3–1 1–4 1–3 2–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 2–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 4–0
Golden State 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–3 2–0 2–2 0–2 2–3 1–4 2–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–4 0–5 4–1 3–1 1–4 3–1 1–1
Houston 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–1 3–2 1–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 4–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–3 4–0 4–1 1–3 4–1 1–1
Indiana 2–2 2–2 5–0 0–5 0–4 1–1 1–1 2–3 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–3 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–2 3–1
L.A. Clippers 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 4–0 2–2 1–1 3–2 0–4 1–1 3–2 0–2 2–0 4–0 0–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–2 2–3 3–2 0–4 1–4 2–2 2–0
L.A. Lakers 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–1 1–3 1–1 2–3 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–5 3–2 3–2 2–2 1–4 1–3 2–0
Miami 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 3–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 2–3 0–5 3–2 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–3
Milwaukee 2–3 2–2 1–3 1–4 1–4 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 3–2 0–2 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–4 1–3 2–2 2–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–3
Minnesota 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 4–1 2–3 1–1 1–3 2–4 1–1 0–4 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–3 1–4 0–4 1–4 1–1
New Jersey 3–1 0–4 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–3 2–0 2–0 3–2 4–0 1–1 1–3 3–2 3–2 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–1
New York 2–2 4–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 5–0 3–1 2–0 3–1 2–2 5–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 4–1
Orlando 3–1 2–3 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 2–3 2–2 2–0 2–3 2–2 3–2 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0
Philadelphia 1–3 1–4 0–4 2–2 0–4 1–1 1–1 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–2 2–0 2–3 0–5 2–3 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 3–1
Phoenix 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 0–2 4–0 3–1 2–0 4–1 2–2 1–1 2–3 5–0 2–0 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 3–2 5–0 3–1 2–3 3–1 2–0
Portland 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 2–0 4–0 3–1 1–1 5–0 3–1 1–1 3–2 2–3 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–3 5–0 2–2 2–3 2–2 1–1
Sacramento 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0 1–3 0–2 1–4 0–4 0–2 2–3 2–3 1–1 1–1 3–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–5 0–5 2–2 1–4 2–2 1–1
San Antonio 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 5–0 4–1 2–0 1–3 1–4 1–1 4–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 4–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–3 1–1
Seattle 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 3–1 2–0 4–1 3–1 0–2 4–1 4–1 1–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–2 3–2 4–1 1–3 2–2 2–0
Utah 0–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 5–0 3–2 2–0 1–3 1–4 2–0 2–2 3–1 2–0 2–0 4–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–3 2–2 1–1
Washington 2–2 1–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–1 1–1 1–3 0–2 0–2 3–2 3–1 1–1 1–4 1–4 0–4 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1

Game log[edit]

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

Playoffs[edit]

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 (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.[10][11] Approximately 300,000 fans braved the 105 degree heat to celebrate the memorable season in the streets of Phoenix.[12]

Game log[edit]

1993 playoff game log
1993 playoff schedule

NBA finals[edit]

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. On the way, Suns Head Coach Paul Westphal became the only person to appear in both triple-overtime finals games. The first was the classic 1976 contest against Boston, in Game 5 as a player. Ironically, his Suns also appeared in that year's finals, thus becoming the only team to appear in two triple-overtime finals games. Back 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[edit]

Week/Month[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Season[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games 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[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Danny Ainge 80 0 27.0 .462 .403 .848 2.7 3.3 0.9 0.1 11.8
Charles Barkley 76 76 37.6 .520 .305 .765 12.2 5.1 1.6 1.0 25.6
Cedric Ceballos 74 46 21.7 .576 .000 .725 5.5 1.0 0.7 0.4 12.8
Tom Chambers 73 0 23.6 .447 .393 .837 4.7 1.4 0.6 0.3 12.2
Richard Dumas 48 32 27.5 .524 .333 .707 4.6 1.3 1.8 0.8 15.8
Frank Johnson 77 0 14.6 .436 .083 .776 1.5 2.4 0.8 0.1 4.3
Kevin Johnson 49 47 33.5 .499 .125 .819 2.1 7.8 1.7 0.4 16.1
Tim Kempton 30 0 5.6 .396 . .581 1.3 0.6 0.1 0.1 1.9
Negele Knight 52 35 17.1 .391 .000 .779 1.2 2.8 0.4 0.1 6.1
Dan Majerle 82 82 39.0 .464 .381 .778 4.7 3.8 1.7 0.4 16.9
Oliver Miller 56 1 19.1 .475 .000 .710 4.9 2.1 0.7 1.8 5.6
Jerrod Mustaf 32 9 10.5 .438 .000 .623 2.6 0.3 0.5 0.3 4.6
Kurt Rambis* 5 0 8.2 .571 . .500 1.2 0.2 0.6 0.0 1.8
Alex Stivrins* 10 0 3.5 .611 .000 . 0.8 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.2
Mark West 82 82 19.0 .614 . .518 5.6 0.4 0.2 1.3 5.3

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

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Danny Ainge 24 0 24.6 .376 .413 .872 2.5 2.3 0.5 0.1 8.1
Charles Barkley 24 24 42.8 .477 .222 .771 13.6 4.3 1.6 1.0 26.6
Cedric Ceballos 16 3 11.6 .571 . .727 2.3 0.8 0.3 0.4 6.0
Tom Chambers 24 1 15.7 .388 .400 .815 2.7 0.5 0.2 0.4 7.3
Richard Dumas 23 20 21.7 .525 .000 .755 2.8 1.0 0.9 0.6 10.9
Frank Johnson 22 0 7.8 .440 .333 .862 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.0 3.2
Kevin Johnson 23 23 39.7 .480 .000 .795 2.7 7.9 1.5 0.6 17.8
Negele Knight 9 1 3.8 .563 . . 0.3 0.8 0.0 0.1 2.0
Dan Majerle 24 24 44.6 .431 .394 .696 5.8 3.7 1.4 1.2 15.4
Oliver Miller 24 0 21.4 .587 .000 .564 5.2 2.1 0.9 2.5 7.2
Jerrod Mustaf 7 0 1.4 .600 . . 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.9
Mark West 24 24 19.5 .544 . .609 4.1 0.5 0.2 1.4 4.8

† – Minimum 20 field goals made.

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

June 17, 1992
To Philadelphia 76ers

United States Jeff Hornacek
United States Tim Perry
United States Andrew Lang

To Phoenix Suns

United States Charles Barkley

Free agents[edit]