PHOENIX — A former head coach for the Suns will be inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year, a press release from the team said.
The ceremony, which will be held in Springfield, Mass. on Sept. 11, will honor Fitzsimmons posthumously for his 832 wins over 21 seasons as an NBA head coach with five teams.
Fitzsimmons is currently ranked the 16th most winningest coach in NBA history, the team said. He was ranked sixth at the time of his final game in 1996. He led his teams to 12 NBA playoff appearances, including three trips to the Western Conference Finals.
"In eight seasons over three tenures as head coach of the Suns (1970-1972, 1988-1992, 1996), Fitzsimmons registered an overall record of 341-208 (.621) with five playoff appearances," the Suns said.
"A member of the Suns Ring of Honor, Fitzsimmons guided Phoenix to four straight 50-plus win seasons and two trips to the Western Conference Finals from 1988-1992 with those Suns teams known as “the Cotton Express” for their high-octane offense."
Fitzsimmons will be the third contributor of the Suns inducted into the hall of fame. He will join former Suns owner, general manager, and coach Jerry Colangelo and former Suns president and chief executive officer Rick Welts.
Eleven former Suns players have also been enshrined, including:
- Connie Hawkins (1969-1973 with Suns; Class of 1992),
- Gail Goodrich (1968-1970 with Suns; Class of 1996),
- Charles Barkley (1992-1996 with Suns; Class of 2006),
- Dennis Johnson (1980-1983 with Suns; Class of 2010),
- Gus Johnson (1972 with Suns; Class of 2010),
- Shaquille O’Neal (2008-2009 with Suns; Class of 2016),
- Steve Nash (1996-1998, 2004-2012 with Suns; Class of 2018),
- Jason Kidd (1996-2001 with Suns; Class of 2018),
- Grant Hill (2007-2012 with Suns; Class of 2018),
- Charlie Scott (1972-1975 with Suns; Class of 2018)
- Paul Westphal (1975-1980, 1983-84 with Suns; Class of 2019)