Phoenix and the Lack of Championship History

Phoenix Suns are 1 win away from the 2021 NBA Finals (up 3-2 on Clippers). An NBA Finals win would be the first for the franchise and only the second major men’s championship among the 4 active teams.

Phoenix is one of 13 cities with at least one active pro team in each of the four major men’s sports. To show for it, they have the fewest championships (1).

*Adding the WNBA’s Mercury, gives Phoenix a total of 4 championships.

Suns are 0-2 in the NBA Finals (losing in 1993 and 1976). Until 2021, they hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010. Between 2005-2010, they made the playoffs 5 of 6 years, advancing to the West Finals 3 times, but could not get over the hump. All-time (dating back to 1968), Suns have 28 playoff series wins in 29 appearances.

Diamondbacks are Phoenix’s youngest team, originating in 1998, and yet are the only ones to experience championship success, beating the Yankees in 2001 to win the World Series in just their fourth year of existence. Outside of 2001, they have won just 2 playoff series in 5 appearances.

Cardinals have played in Arizona since 1988. In 31 seasons, they have won 10 games or more just 4 times. One of those seasons came in 2008, when they made the playoffs for just the second time and advanced all the way to Super Bowl XLIII, before losing to the Steelers. Cardinals have a 6-5 playoff record in Arizona.

Coyotes moved to Arizona before the 1996-97 season (from Winnipeg). Their time in Arizona has mostly been spent searching for a real home (Phoenix, Glendale) and battling bankruptcy issues. Coyotes are 3-9 in playoff series, winning 2 in 2012 (advancing to the Western Conference Finals) and winning a qualifying round game in the 2020 bubble.

Mercury have won 3 WNBA Championships in 4 appearances. They won it all in 2007, 2009, 2014.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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