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‘Sunburst’ Phoenix Suns jersey rated 11th-best in NBA history by ESPN

Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns reacts to the Suns' game one win over the San Antonio Spurs at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas 22 April 2000. The Suns upset the Spurs 72-70. (AFP PHOTO/Paul Buck via Getty Images)

As live basketball content continues be few and far between, ESPN has started making “top 74” lists, a nod to the 2019-20 season being the 74th in league history.

In ESPN’s top 74 jerseys of all time, two Phoenix Suns jerseys made the list.

The black version of the “Sunburst” worn mainly in the 1990s was the highest-ranked Suns jersey on the list.

The “Western Blue” jerseys, worn from 1973-92 by team legends including Alvan Adams and Walter Davis, were also given an honor.

The black Sunburst logo came in at No. 11. Writer Dave McMenamin was particularly impressed with the way Phoenix pulled off the orange-and-black look.

“Black and orange can be a tricky color palette to paint with. Yet the Suns managed to sidestep any Halloween vibes (or Cincinnati Bengals likeness, for that matter) with their sunburst uniforms in the ’90s.”

He also pointed out the ambigram the font used for “Suns” created, for anyone who had yet to notice such detail.

This jersey was introduced prior to the 1992-93 season, the same year Charles Barkley was named the Most Valuable Player and the Suns made it to the NBA Finals. The jerseys remained until 2001, meaning team legends outside that 1993 team including Jason Kidd and Steve Nash also donned it briefly.

The other Suns jersey to make the list was older: purple with a Western typeface and white and orange trim.

On the shorts, an orange burst near the bottom with the word “Suns” pops out for a nice effect.

Adam Reisinger wrote:

The Suns tweaked their original jerseys by adding a “Western” font, and the look was so good it lasted nearly two decades.

This jersey came in at No. 65.

Because it was worn from the 70s into the 90s, a wide range of Suns wore it. Adams, Davis, Kevin Johnson and Tom Chambers are all players who put on the western jersey.

ESPN ranked the gold Showtime Los Angeles Lakers jersey, green Boston Celtics jersey that lasted from 80s into the 2010s, and the Chicago Bulls jersey that debuted during the Michael Jordan era as the top three jerseys of all time.

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