Shawn Marion‘s No. 31 and Amar’e Stoudemire‘s 32 will hang from the Phoenix forever, as the Suns announced that the duo will be inducted into the club’s Ring of Honor as the 11th and 12th players in franchise history to receive the tribute.
“Shawn and Amar’e are two of the very best to ever wear a Phoenix Suns uniform,” New team owner Mat Ishbia expressed in a statement. “Shawn changed the game with his elite versatility and Amar’e was one of the most electrifying players the league has ever seen.”
Phoenix drafted Marion with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. Marion, nicknamed the Matrix, went on to play nine seasons for the Suns in which he appeared in 660 regular season games.
From 1999-2008, the forward averaged 18.4 points on 48.1% FG, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.4 blocks. Notably, the four-time all-star’s reliability and availability made him the backbone of the Suns during the early 2000’s.
Marion is second in minutes played in franchise history (24,948), and while with the Suns, he only missed five games (excluding his rookie season). One has to wonder how many franchise records Marion probably would have gone on to break if the team had not famously traded him away for Shaquille O’Neal in the middle of the 2007-08 season. In the franchise-record history books, Marion is also second in rebounds (6,616), second in steals (1,245), third in blocks (894), third in field goals made (4,879), and the all-time playoff leader in rebounds (706) throughout his Suns career. And most importantly, Marion is first in win shares and has the best value-over replacement out of anyone’s career with Phoenix.
Correspondingly, in the 2002 NBA draft, the Suns had the No. 9 overall pick again, which they used to take Stoudemire, a 19-year-old from Cypress Creek High School in Orlando.
Stoudemire, nicknamed S.T.A.T, won Rookie of the Year and went on to play eight seasons for the Suns. From 2002-10, he appeared in 516 games for the team, in which the star forward/center averaged 21.4 points on 54.4% FG, 8.9 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.4 blocks. Notably, Stoudemire is a six-time NBA All-Star and had All-NBA First Team honors in the 2006-07 season.
He is ranked seventh in franchise history for points (11,035), fifth in scoring average (21.4), third in rebounds (4,613), and fifth in blocks (722). In the 2010-2011 season, Stoudemire went on to play for the Knicks via free agency.
“I bleed purple and orange, making this a tremendous honor to be inducted,” Stoudemire said in a statement. “My best and most transformative years came in Phoenix with the Suns. I have so much love for Suns fans and appreciation for the love they have always shown me. I am excited to reconnect with the fanbase in joining the Ring of Honor.”
The duo, Marion and Stoudemire, will always be remembered as essential members of the “The Seven Seconds or Less” Suns team that forever changed the game. The core of Marion, Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and coach Mike D’Antoni never managed to win it all, but made it to the Western Conference Finals twice, frequently leading the league in pace and offense efficiency.
“As we embark on the new era of Suns basketball, it is a priority that we remain connected to our storied history,” Ishbia said. “We are excited to celebrate Shawn and Amar’e and properly recognize their incredible contributions and achievements.”