The news today that the Suns and coach Alvin Gentry decided to part ways didn't register nearly the reaction that coaching changes by the Lakers and Nets did earlier this season. That stands to reason, given that L.A. and Brooklyn are media hubs, but even the end of Scott Skiles' tenure in Milwaukee seemed to have more gravitas than what went down in Phoenix. Last-place teams typically don't generate much press, though, particularly when they're devoid of any notable star. Phoenix has had plenty of stars in the past, though, and one of them weighed in on today's move, as we pass along below with other notes from the Valley of the Sun.
- Rival executives are bringing up Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone's name in connection with the Suns job, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who identifies him as a strong candidate for the job this summer (Twitter link).
- Steve Nash thinks Gentry's departure from Phoenix could be a positive for his former coach, and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com believes that speaks volumes about the state of the Suns (Sulia link). The move didn't catch Nash off-guard. "I think the writing's been on the wall," Nash said. "It looks like it to me … They wouldn't extend his contract. They just gave him the year to kind of play it out. It looked like they wanted to get their own guy in there."
- Gentry isn't discouraged by today's events, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. "I still think I'm a good coach," Gentry said. "I'm at fault, not totally. There were other factors but I'm ultimately responsible as the coach."
- Marcin Gortat seems to be lobbying via Twitter for Stan Van Gundy, who coached the Polish center with the Magic, to take the job in Phoenix, writing "SVG is out there….." shortly after the news broke about Gentry this afternoon (hat tip to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Van Gundy said over the summer he still has the itch to coach, but has maintained that he has no interest in the Nets opening.
- The Suns front office expected that the team would compete for a playoff spot this year, but that was a drastic miscalculation from the start, contends Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).