The Suns miscalculated during the 2013/14 season when the team dealt away Marcin Gortat in an effort to speed up the rebuilding process by bottoming out, but instead won 48 games, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com writes. “We were never trying to lose games,” team owner Robert Sarver told Lowe. “We were trying to play young players who we thought could be part of the next great Phoenix team, and some of them just played a lot better than we thought they would.” It was the unexpected success of that campaign that led Phoenix to chase immediate wins at the expense of long-term team-building, Lowe adds, which is a major reason for the mess the franchise is currently in. The ESPN scribe also opines that coach Jeff Hornacek shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for the team’s woeful record this season, and for the sake of continuity he should be allowed another opportunity in 2016/17.
Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Nik Stauskas and Carl Landry, both of whom were traded by Sacramento to the Sixers, say that they harbor no ill will toward the Kings organization for shipping them away, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “There’s no hard feelings,” Landry said. “The organization and the owner [Vivek Ranadive] and the vets, everybody in that organization gave me an opportunity. I am not going to go out there and try to score more points than needs to be scored. I’m just going to go out there and try to get a win. That’s it. Nothing personal.” Stauskas laid the blame for being dealt on himself, Pompey adds. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to my rookie year,” Stauskas said, “and obviously they felt like they wanted to go in a different direction. That’s the way the NBA works.“
- Warriors superstar Stephen Curry has taken some surprising criticism for the way he plays potentially “ruining” young players who attempt to emulate him. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle strongly disagrees, and compares the point guard to Apple visionary Steve Jobs, Michael Florek of The Dallas Morning News writes. “He’s changed the way we live,” Carlisle said of Jobs. “He and Bill Gates have done that. Steph Curry is changing the way the game is going to be played in the future. I’m sure of it. That’s a historic thing. The way AAU coaches and kids coming up are going to view the game, I’m confident it’s going to have a big influence. He’s an exciting guy to watch, and he’s a menacing guy to game plan for.”