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Raja Bell on the 7-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns: "It was the best thing that ever happened to me"

Raja Bell was glad that he became a part of the 7-seconds-or-less offense under Mike D'Antoni because he became a 3-D player and it prolonged his career.
Steve Nash and Raja Bell

Steve Nash and Raja Bell

Raja Bell was a part of the 7-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns system engineered by Mike D’Antoni and orchestrated by Steve Nash. Bell claims it was the best thing that happened in his career, a defensive guy playing in an offense-heavy system.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me

Bell played in Phoenix from 2005 to 2009. In his first year, it was the peak of the 7-seconds-or-less offense introduced by Mike D’Antoni. The league had not seen such an unpredictable early offense at that time. But it worked because of Steve Nash, who won back-to-back MVPs in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. For Bell, they wouldn’t be as successful without Nash. The Suns also made it to Western Conference Finals in two consecutive years but unfortunately failed against the Dallas Mavericks in 2006 and the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.

Bell shared what it meant to his career playing for a historic team like the 7-sec-or-less Suns in an interview with Mat Issa of Basketball News.

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“It’s a really interesting conversation when I talk about Phoenix because it was the best thing that ever happened to me. On my arc as an offensive player in the NBA. It kind of put me in a role. I became typecasted at that point.”

Raja Bell, BasketballNews

Rajah carved a niche in the league because he became a 3-D type of player in Phoenix. He was also entrusted with playmaking in some instances. Bell was able to prolong his career because other facets of his game had been showcased, especially on the offensive end.

Why the 7-seconds-or-less system was historical

Mike D’Antoni’s offense was fun to watch. There was a lot of dunking and shooting. When Mike went on to handle other teams, the same patented offense brought success to the Houston Rockets and enabled James Harden to win the MVP. However, the system wasn’t as successful in other teams because it relies on a triple-threat point guard plus, his teams weren’t exactly known for their defense. So why did it work in Phoenix?

The team had Steve Nash and athletic forwards in Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire, who could run fastbreaks. The team had no dominating big man in the middle, and it started a trend of positionless basketball. It was fun while it lasted although his teams didn’t end up winning a title, the 7-seconds-or-less offense birthed a new era of offensive schemes and helped mold the modern NBA.

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