Alvin Gentry and the Phoenix Suns mutually part ways

Updated 1:56 p.m. MST: Alvin Gentry and the Phoenix Suns have agreed to part ways nearly halfway through the 2012-13 season and with the team sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings at 13-28.

The official announcement from the team came hours after a 98-94 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks had Gentry clearly frustrated. It also comes the same week where the coach who was still fighting tooth and nail to win games admitted the team will start looking toward playing its younger players.

The Suns will now look to do that under a new head coach. An interim will be named in the next day or two, according to the team.

A press conference is scheduled for later Friday afternoon.

Gentry became an interim head coach in Feb. 2009 after the Terry Porter firing and was named as a permanent head coach in May of that year. He produced a 52.3 winning percentage in a little over five seasons in Phoenix, including the 2010 run to the Western Conference Finals.

The move represents the the Suns are wanting to move in a new direction. The player development portion, one would think, could be a huge part of doing so. And Gentry stepping aside, especially on mutual terms, signals it’s time for that to happen.

Update: Now, the Suns look to replacements. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Phoenix will consider assistant Elston Turner or player development coach Lindsey Hunter as the top candidates to replace Gentry.

Suns players’ tweets in reaction to Alvin Gentry’s firing

Marcin Gortat tweeted that he was thankful for the three years he and Gentry spent together.

Then there was this:

Channing Frye on Alvin Gentry:

Check back throughout the afternoon and evening for more updates

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