It’s safe to say professional sports is a “what have you done for me lately?” industry, where immediate production and rings are cherished at least as much if not more than loyalty.
Perhaps no city knows that more than Phoenix, which has seen generational talents finish their careers in a different uniform than the ones Valley residents grew accustomed to.
Whether it be 2022 National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt or former Arizona Cardinals cornerstone cornerback Patrick Peterson — Arizona sports betting fans have had to watch some of the most transcendent stars of their hometown teams find success in different cities.
That volatility should make sports fans in Phoenix appreciate longstanding local athletes, such as Diamondbacks infielder Nick Ahmed, Cardinals offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, and Suns star guard Devin Booker, even more.
All three rank atop BetArizona.com’s list of most loyal Phoenix athletes, based on how long a player has stayed in the Valley after being drafted by one of the area’s four professional sports teams.
Our search was for the most loyal athlete that currently plays in Phoenix using a point system that awards two points for each season played with the team, two points for each contract signed, two points for each contract signed for three or more years and four points for any pay structure changes to allow cap space for team.
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Most Loyal Athletes in Phoenix
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Who’s the Most Loyal Phoenix Athlete?
Ahmed takes the cake as the most loyal Phoenix athlete with 32 total points, thanks to notching 18 points for consecutive seasons with the team (nine), 12 points for contracts signed (six), and three points for signing one three-year contract with the club.
Trailing Ahmed were Humphries, who finished with 30 points, and Booker, who had 28 points by our metrics.
Humphries was the only member of the trio to score four points for restructuring their contract, but trailed Ahmed in total contracts signed (three), and years with the team (seven).
Booker tied Humphries, in terms of number of contracts and contracts over three years (three each), but did not score any points for restructuring his deals with the Suns.
Ahmed, Humphries Among Most Loyal Phoenix Athletes
Few Phoenix athletes have been as stable a force for their teams as Ahmed, Humphries and Booker have been.
Ahmed has appeared in 816 games across nine seasons with Arizona, dating back to his debut season in 2014.
During that time, the UConn alum has clubbed 636 hits, 68 home runs, 305 RBI and has a career WAR of 12.4, while serving as the team’s community liaison and MLB Players Association representative.
Humphries has been the stabilizing force in the trenches for the Cardinals, appearing in 83 games since being drafted out of Florida in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Union, S.C., native appeared in his first Pro Bowl in 2021 and will be around the Valley for at least the next three years, after signing a three-year, $66.6 million extension with the club before the 2022 season.
Last on the list but first on the minds of many in Phoenix is cornerstone guard Devin Booker, who is in his eighth season with the Suns.
Booker has been a one-man scoring tour de force for Monty Williams and company over the past few years, averaging at least 24 points per game each year between 2017 and 2022.
The former Kentucky Wildcat is on pace to finish with his highest year-end scoring average this season, at 27.9 PPG, while his field goal percentage (47.0%), free throw percentage (88.0%), assists per game (5.8) and rebounds per game (5.4) are all up versus where they were last season.
Thanks to his efforts, the Suns are tied for third at +700 on the BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona NBA Championship odds board.