It appears the Suns can take one name off their list of potential head coaching candidates. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Grand Canyon head coach – and former Suns star – Dan Majerle has turned down a request from the club to meet about the head coach position.
“(Suns GM) Ryan (McDonough) reached out and asked to meet, but I told him that I was going to stay at Grand Canyon,” Majerle said, per Richard Obert of The Arizona Republic. “I’m not ruling it out in the future. But there are still things I want to do here.”
As Obert notes, Majerle has some history coaching the Suns, having served as an assistant from 2008 to 2013. He left the team on bad terms in ’13 when Lindsey Hunter was named the interim head coach in Phoenix. Majerle blasted the organization on his way out, criticizing the Suns for passing over him and Elston Turner for the job and calling the process a “charade.”
Of course, that situation played out under an old regime in Phoenix, led by then-GM Lance Blanks. According to Obert, Majerle’s messy exit from the team in 2013 has nothing to do with his decision to turn down an opportunity in 2018 — the former Suns All-Star says his relationship with the franchise was repaired by McDonough two years ago.
The Suns were said to be getting an early head start on their head coaching search in March, so Majerle certainly isn’t the only candidate to hear from the club so far. Reports have suggested that Phoenix is likely to reach out to David Fizdale, Jason Kidd, and Jay Wright, among others. Interim coach Jay Triano will also be considered for the permanent job.