Suns, Alvin Gentry Part Ways

6:22pm: Mike Monroe of San Antonio Express-News (via Twitter) cites a plugged-in source who says that Hunter will be the team's interim coach. Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic tweeted that that some of the Suns players spoke to the front office earlier today and lobbied for Dan Majerle to get the position, adding that their request has also been under consideration.  

SATURDAY, 2:18pm: The Suns are conducting interviews today, but have yet to name an interim coach, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. They have a little time to deliberate, since their next game is Wednesday against the Kings, and they don't practice until tomorrow, as Coro notes. In addition to Hunter and Turner, fellow Suns assistant coach Igor Kokoskov is a candidate as well, according to Coro (Twitter link).

FRIDAY, 12:08pm: Alvin Gentry and the Suns have agreed to part ways, reports John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix (via Twitter). According to Gambadoro, Gentry met with owner Robert Sarver and president Lon Babby this morning. The Suns' brass would like to focus on player development and the team's younger players, and didn't think Gentry was the ideal choice for that approach (Twitter links).

The top candidates to replace Gentry as the Suns' interim coach are assistants Lindsey Hunter and Elston Turner, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wojnarowski notes that Hunter was installed by the team's front office, and is viewed as a potential future head coach, meaning the club may have preferred to give him a clean slate to take over in the offseason. Turner, meanwhile, is a favorite of Sarver's (Twitter links).

Given the Suns' place in the standings, the decision to part ways with Gentry isn't a huge surprise — Phoenix's 13-28 mark puts them last in the Western Conference. Still, it was just last month that Sarver asserted Gentry's job was safe. Ian Thomsen of also argued earlier this week that the coach wasn't the problem in Phoenix, though even Thomsen acknowledged that Gentry was likely the next coach on the hot seat.

In three full seasons and two half seasons with the Suns, Gentry compiled a 158-144 record, including a 54-win season in 2009/10.

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