Suns could answer prayers for cursed city in this year’s NBA Finals

Jul 7, 2021, 6:10 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2021, 7:36 am
JULY 06: Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns hug after the team's win against the...
JULY 06: Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns hug after the team's win against the Milwaukee Bucks following Game One of the NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on July 06, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Both the cities of Milwaukee and Phoenix have been cursed with several chances at championships but few or none to show for it in recent memory.

Since 1980, the two cities have a combined four titles despite having multiple franchises across professional sports.

All four of those championships belong to the Valley.

The Phoenix Mercury won three titles (2007, 2009 & 2014) in a seven-year span, thanks in large part to the greatness of future Hall of Famer Diana Taurasi.

The Arizona Diamondbacks won their only title when they defeated the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.

But by FiveThirtyEight’s numbers, Phoenix should have two more titles. The city is expected to have a total of 6.05 championships, a -2.05 differential.

What’s been missing? Well, the Phoenix Suns.

The city’s most beloved franchise has reached the NBA Finals twice (1973 and 1993) but failed to get the job done.

What’s even more demoralizing is that the Suns have had more than enough opportunities to crown themselves champions.

The Athletic’s John Hollinger calls Phoenix “the most star-crossed franchise in NBA history” and for good reason.

It’s not even close, actually. They’ve only lost in the Finals twice, but the Suns have had innumerable seasons where they entered the playoffs seeming like perhaps the best team, or at the very least on the short list, only to falter in the conference finals or semis. It happened four times in the Steve Nash era, twice in the Charles Barkley era, twice in the Kevin Johnson-Tom Chambers era, and three times in the Paul Westphal-Walter Davis era. Overall, you could make a strong case they’ve had 13 teams in the last 46 years that were at least plausible champions … but the Suns have never won. There was always a nosebleed or suspension or weird coaching decision or a Mario Elie shot that got in the way.

The good news for Phoenix is that this year is arguably its best shot to break the curse.

After winning Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks comfortably, 118-105, the Suns are ever closer to holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time.

Phoenix Suns

Credit: @cedceballos / Twitter...
Nicholas Hodell

Former Suns F Cedric Ceballos says he is COVID-19 free, but still in ICU

Former NBA player Cedric Ceballos tweeted on Sunday that he is COVID-19 free, but also that he is still recovering in an intensive care unit.
4 days ago
Photo by
Associated Press

Tech data shows Arizona’s busy sports gambling activity

"Arizona ... had more wagered online than mature states like Michigan, Colorado and Tennessee at the FanDuel Sportsbook,” a spokesman said.
5 days ago
Images of the FanDuel sportsbook inside Footprint Center. (Photo by
Associated Press

What to know as legal sports gambling begins in Arizona

Which in-person betting services are open Thursday? What other sportsbooks are still coming? And how did Arizona get here?
9 days ago
Photo by
Arizona Sports

Suns release images of FanDuel sportsbook at Footprint Center as betting opens in Arizona

See pictures inside the Phoenix Suns FanDuel Sportsbook at Footprint Center. Legalized betting opens in Arizona on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.
9 days ago
Arizona Sports

Suns G Devin Booker featured on Kicks Magazine cover

Devin Booker studies the details. And in reading the featured story for SLAM's latest edition of KICKS Magazine, fans can get a sense of that.
10 days ago
United States' Javale McGee takes a rest during a men's basketball practice at the Tokyo 2020 Olymp...
Kellan Olson

JaVale McGee visualized himself on Suns while watching NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee was at a Finals game in Phoenix and was able to see where he could potentially play a role.
10 days ago
Suns could answer prayers for cursed city in this year’s NBA Finals