Time With Phoenix: 1996-2001
Just a few seasons after winning the NBA Rookie of the Year with them, the Dallas Mavericks shipped Jason Kidd to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade. During his five years with the Suns, Kidd led the team to a playoff appearance every year while averaging 14.4 points and 9.7 assists per game. This was also the era of Kidd’s infamous blonde hairdo.
Unfortunately, Kidd’s tenure in Phoenix was hurt by injuries to Anfernee Hardaway — his partner in the “Backcourt 2000” hype.
Kidd would go on to win an NBA title with Dallas during the 2010-11 season, two Gold Medals with Team USA, make 10 All-Star appearances, and lead the NBA in assists five times.
Time With Phoenix: 2007-2012
Everyone knows Grant Hill had his career derailed by injuries but his time in Phoenix is probably why he made the Hall of Fame.
As a member of the Suns, Hill finally proved he was healthy enough for the 82-game grind. And although he wasn’t an All-Star like his days in Detroit, he was a regular starter and a role model for everyone around. During the team’s run to the 2010 Western Conference Finals, Hill started every single playoff game and averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
In five seasons with Phoenix, Hill started 343 of 362 games and averaged over 30 minutes and 12 points per night. Furthermore, he also won two of his three NBA Sportsmanship Awards with the Suns.
Hill, ironically, was a co-Rookie of the Year with fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Jason Kidd. Overall, he made seven All-Star appearances and five All-NBA teams in his pro career. In college, he was a two-time National Champion and two-time All-American at Duke.