The 5 biggest villains in Phoenix Suns history

Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 19:31:57-04

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will play his final NBA game Wednesday night, and many fans around the NBA -- including plenty of Phoenix Suns fans -- couldn't be happier to see him go. 

Why? Because the "Black Mamba" has been unkind to the Suns over the years, including these last-second shots that cost the Suns a playoff victory in 2006, and this air ball -- yes, an air ball -- that led to the Suns' demise in the 2010 Western Conference Finals. (Kobe averaged nearly 34 points and over eight assists and seven rebounds per game during the six-game series.)

There's no doubt Kobe has to be considered one of the Suns' top villains of all-time. But did he make our top-five list?

Not quite. Here are five men who, in our opinion, have inflicted even more pain on the Suns than the Mamba has.

See also: 5 things every Suns fan is bitter about

5. Mario Elie

The 6-foot-5 Elie ironically ended his career with the Suns in 2001 -- but he's hated by Suns fans for knocking their team out of the playoffs, then blowing Phoenix fans a kiss after doing so.

In 1994, Elie's Rockets beat the Suns in seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals. In the '95 conference semis, the Suns appeared to be on their way to payback after gaining a 3-1 series lead over Houston.

But the Rockets won the final three games, including Game 7 in Phoenix, as Elie's 3-pointer in the final seconds proved to be the dagger to the Suns' heart. 

4. Markieff Morris

Since the pain Markieff caused during the last two seasons is still fresh in our minds, many might believe Markieff deserves a higher spot on this list. But one thing's for certain: No player has done more internal damage to the team.

From being charged with felony assault to throwing a towel in then-coach Jeff Hornacek's face, to calling out Suns fans for a lack of support to, most recently, getting into a shoving match with his own teammate, Markieff wore out his welcome long before the team finally sent him packing in Thursday's trade.

3. Tim Donaghy

The only non-player on this list poured salt in an open wound when it was revealed that Donaghy, a 13-year NBA official, bet on games he officiated, including multiple games in the Suns' conference finals series against the Spurs that Phoenix eventually lost.

Later, Donaghy asserted that the NBA's supervisor of officials in that series "had a dislike" for Suns owner Robert Sarver and did what he could to ensure a Spurs victory.

(Incredibly, Donaghy isn't the biggest villain from that particular series. Keep reading.)

2. John Paxson

By all accounts, the former Chicago Bulls guard isn't a bad guy. But what he did to the Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals will never be forgotten.

The Suns were trying to even up the best-of-seven finals series with Michael Jordan's Bulls at three games apiece and appeared to be on the verge of doing so in Game 6 in Phoenix... until Paxson's wide-open 3-pointer with four seconds to play put the Bulls ahead for good.

The Suns haven't been back to the NBA Finals since '93 and don't appear headed back anytime soon.

1. Robert Horry

First, we have to remember that Horry was hated by Suns fans before the main reason he's on this list.

In 1996, Horry (who helped the Rockets beat the Suns in the 1994 and '95 playoffs) was traded to the Suns. He didn't last the entire season in Phoenix, as he was dealt to the Lakers after throwing a towel in then-coach Danny Ainge's face.

Fast-forward to 2007. At the end of the Suns' win at the Spurs in Game 4 of the conference semis, Horry hip-checked Steve Nash into the scorer's table. Naturally, Nash's teammates, including Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, came to Nash's defense.

The problem is, according to the letter of the law, leaving the bench is an automatic one-game suspension. The NBA decided not to use discretion and went forward with suspending Stoudemire and Diaw for Game 5, which the Spurs won in Phoenix.

Horry and San Antonio went on to win the series in six games, and they won the NBA championship a few weeks later.

Dishonorable mention:

Kobe Bryant: For the reasons listed above.

Multiple members of the San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen -- take your pick. They've all helped beat the Suns, and most have been accused of unsportsmanlike behavior while doing so.

Doc Rivers and Greg Anthony: The former New York Knicks duo picked a fight with Suns guard Kevin Johnson during a game in the 1992-93 season.

David Stern and Stu Jackson: The former NBA commissioner and executive vice president were responsible for making the decision to suspend Stoudemire and Diaw in that 2007 series -- a decision Stern defends to this day.