Suns Name Lindsey Hunter Interim Coach

January 20 2013 at 6:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

6:29pm: NBC/Comcast analyst Ric Bucher tweets that it is now a tough situation in Phoenix for Elston Turner, who he considers to have Tom Thibodeau-esque potential. After the Suns didn't allow him to follow Rick Adelman to Minnesota in 2011, Turner was passed over for the Blazers' job this summer and now has lost out to Hunter in Phoenix.  Bucher speculates that based on the "dynamic" in Phoenix, it is hard to envision Turner or Majerle staying beyond their current contract obligations should Hunter remain at the helm. 

12:55pm: Majerle isn't the only assistant coach on his way out of town, as player development coach Sean Rooks is leaving for a job overseas, Coro notes, adding that Rooks' move is unrelated to the other changes in Phoenix. Also, Elston Turner was absent from practice today, according to Coro (Twitter links).

11:08am: Majerle will likely leave the team after getting passed over for the interim job, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. A source indicates the same to Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).

10:11am: The Suns have named assistant coach Lindsey Hunter as interim head coach, the team announced on its website. Hunter replaces Alvin Gentry, who parted ways with the team on Friday. The team went with Hunter over fellow Phoenix assistants Elston Turner, Igor Kokoskov and Dan Majerle.

Hunter was a front-office favorite, though owner Robert Sarver reportedly has an affinity for Turner. Suns players made a push for Majerle yesterday as the team was considering its internal candidates. Hunter was part of the final three in the running for the Magic head coaching job over the summer. His formal title with the Suns had been player development coordinator, a position he took over this season after joining the team's scouting department last year. He spent 17 years in the league as a player, retiring in 2010 to a player development role with the Bulls. 

The Suns, in last place in the Western Conference with a 13-28 record, next play Wednesday against the Kings. The team wants to place greater focus on bringing along its young talent, so given Hunter's previous responsibilities with the club, the hiring makes sense. Phoenix brass reportedly felt Gentry wasn't the right man for its new emphasis on youth.

blog comments powered by Disqus