PHOENIX SUNS

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.

Penguin Air

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