On Saturday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame selected 13 new members to their prestigious club. Five of those members are affiliated with the Phoenix Suns in Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Charlie Scott, and Rick Welts. With the four players selected by the Hall of Fame, it is the first time in history that four players will be enshrined that each played for the same NBA franchise. Here is a little more about the newest members representing the Suns.
Steve Nash– Selected by the Suns 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Santa Clara University. During his 18 years in the NBA with Phoenix, Dallas, and Los Angeles, he was an NBA All-Star eight times, three-time All-NBA First Team selection (2005-2007). Also, he was a two-time Most Valuable Player (2005 and 2006) with the Suns. He is the all-time leader in free throw percentage at 90 percent and ranks third in assists with 10,335. Nash had four seasons where his shooting percentage was at or above 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 90 percent from the free throw line. That is the most in NBA history. Nash is considered one of the greatest shooters to play the game of basketball. Currently, he is in his first season as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors.
Charlie Scott– Played three seasons with the Suns from 1972-1975 after being trade to Phoenix from Boston for Paul Silas. He averaged 24.8 points per game, 5.3 assists, and 4.1 rebounds with 1.7 steals during his time in Phoenix. His 24.8 points per game average remains the highest scoring average in team history. Scott was named to the NBA All-Star team each of his three seasons with the Suns.
Jason Kidd– The 19-year NBA veteran played five seasons in Phoenix. Acquired from the Dallas Mavericks on December 26, 1996, he averaged 14.4 points, 9.7 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.1 steals in his time with the Suns. J-Kidd is the franchise’s all-time leader with 25 triple doubles. He was named to the All-NBA First Team three times (1999, 2000, and 2001), which tied a franchise record with Nash and Paul Westphal. A 10-time NBA All-Star and was the 1995 co-Rookie of the Year with Hill and he ranks second on the NBA’s all-time assists list with 12,091. Also, he is second in steals with 2,684. His 107 career triple doubles is third behind Oscar Robertson and Ervin “Magic” Johnson. He won a championship with the Mavericks in 2011 and is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner with Team USA in 2000 and 2008.
Rick Welts- Spent nine seasons as the Suns president from 2002-2011. In 2009, he was named the club’s chief executive officer. Welts was credited with the creation of the NBA All-Star Weekend concept, making the NBA All-Star Game into such a big event. He was a big component in the launch of the WNBA and held several positions with the league office. He was the team’s president during the “seven seconds or less” era under head coach Mike D’Antoni. When he left the Suns in 2011, he joined Golden State taking the same position with the Warriors as he held with the Suns.
Grant Hill– Hill was the 1995 NBA co-Rookie of the Year as a member of the Detroit Pistons. Hill signed with the Suns in 2007 and during his five years in Phoenix he would go on to average 12.1 points per game, 4.7 rebounds a game, and 2.6 assists a game. He was a key member to the 2010 Western Conference Finals run under coach Alvin Gentry. He was the first two-time recipient of the team’s Dan Majerle Hustle Award (2008 and 2011), which is an award that shows hustle, grit, and determination.
Now 10 former Suns players been inducted into the Hall of Fame in guys like Charles Barkley, Connie Hawkins, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Jerry Colangelo. For a franchise that has a rich traditional of basketball, having four players and one executive elected into the Hall of Fame is truly a big thing for the Suns.