In the 2004-05 season, the Phoenix Suns were arguably the biggest favorites to win the league. The Arizona-based team was sitting on top of the West Conference with a 60-20 record coming into the postseason. They had an MVP in Steve Nash; they had Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson, and Quentin Richardson. Eventually, they lost in the Western Conference Finals to the later champions San Antonio Spurs in five games. Quentin Richardson, who talked about that season on the Forgotten Seasons Podcast, reveals that many guys from that team believe they would eventually win the chip if they stayed together for a longer time.
“We only had that one year with that core group. If we had the chance to run it back, we all feel like we would have got at least one”, Richardson admitted.Quentin Richardson, via Forgotten Seasons Podcast
Q Rich could play on the wing and the shooting guard position, so he faced many talented players in that particular season. Phoenix was coached by Mike D’Antoni, known for his all-out attack way of coaching and his teams mostly switching everything on the defensive end. It wasn’t much more different with the Suns that year. So Richardson had to guard a lot of skillful players on the perimeter. And as he said, there were many different matchups that he got caught up in and were incredibly tough.
“Easy Kobe first. You got to think in that era it was Kobe, you might get caught up on Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, Tracy McGrady… I know I’m forgetting some poeple, I dont want to be disrespectful, but those names jump straight out at me”, Q Rich said.Quentin Richardson, via Forgotten Seasons Podcast
And he wasn’t that far of with those guys. Kobe didn’t manage to get the Lakers to the playoffs, but he averaged 27.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Davis, Arenas, and McGrady were also expected choices, but Richardson mentioned one often overlooked player – Cuttino Mobley.
“Cuttino Mobley used to give me hell, he was a problem,” Q Rich added.Quentin Richardson, via Forgotten Seasons Podcast
Mobley had a strong 2004-05 season; he averaged 17.2 points per game and 43.9% from behind the arc.
However, that’s not Quentin’s final list of the toughest matchups in that season. Richardson wrote in the comment section of the forgottenseasonnba IG account that he didn’t mention one name.
“I can’t believe I didn’t say Paul Pierce right after Kobe!! He was the biggest problem right after Kobe!”, Q Rich wrote.Quentin Richardson, via Forgotten Seasons Podcast
He was right in correcting himself because The Truth had a solid individual 2004-05 season. The Celtics star recorded 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, and he deserves to be in this elite company.