ports Legends

The Phoenix Suns make NBA History

The Phoenix Suns joined the NBA at the end of the '60s. in 1976, they made NBA history. Game 5 of the finals against the Boston Celtics is still NBA legend. With one second left in double overtime and the Suns trailing by two, Gar Heard caught on inbound pass and fired a 20-foot arching jump shot, sending the game into triple overtime.

"The first triple overtime game ever in the history of the NBA finals and a game that still is called by fans as the greatest basketball game ever played."
Al McCoy, Phoenix Suns announcer
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A Rivalry for the Ages - ASU vs. U of A

The nation started to take note of Arizona's college teams in 1970s. Both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were national champions in baseball, and Grand Canyon College won a national basketball championship twice during the decade. But by far, Arizona's most successful college sports program of the decade was Sun Devil football under Coach Frank Kush. Between 1969 and 1977, ASU topped the Western Athletic Conference seven times. 129 players from Kush-coached teams made it to the pros.

In 1971, ASU's success coupled with frustration over their being overlooked each bowl season sparked local business leaders to create Arizona's own bowl game, the Fiesta Bowl. As conference champions, ASU played in five of the first seven Fiesta Bowls, winning all but one.

Though the Fiesta Bowl generated excitement and the Phoenix Suns statewide pride, for Arizonans of the '70s, there was still just one must-see sporting event. ASU versus University of Arizona.

"And the rivalry between the two institutions, it wasn't only athletically, it was academically, socially and everything else."
Frank Kush, ASU Football Coach
Read the transcript.