The Phoenix Suns fired head coach Alvin Gentry on Friday morning following a loss the previous night to the Milwaukee Bucks and announced on Sunday morning that the interim coach who would replace Gentry for the rest of the season would be Suns head of player development Lindsey Hunter.
Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks evidently reached out to all the Suns players in order to get their opinions regarding who they thought was the man for the job and according to Blanks the players wanted Hunter to be the man for the job, however according to a new source it turns out the players wanted Thunder Dan Majerle to be their new head coach which isn’t surprising.
Both assistant coaches Dan Marjele and Elston Turner were interviewed for the head coaching position along with Hunter but ultimately Blanks handed the keys to the ship to Hunter.
“Listen,” Majerle said, “the fact it wasn’t working doesn’t mean Alvin can’t coach but maybe guys need a different voice. We all know it’s a business and change happens.”
No one can blame Majerle for being upset. Majerle was a great player when he wore a Suns uniform, he’s been on the Suns sidelines as an assistant longer than both Turner and Hunter, and not to mention, he’s had tremendously extend history with the Suns organization dating all the way back to 1988; Majerle was also a key player on that 1993 Suns squad that took Jordan’s Bulls to six games in the NBA Finals(the last time the Suns made the finals).
Nonetheless, immediately after the firing of Alvin Gentry it seemed like Hunter’s job to lose rather than Marjele’s; hard to imagine why that wouldn’t resonate well with Marjele.
“If I would have been the guy I would have given everything to the job,” Majerle said. ” If Elston would have been the guy, I would definitely stay on.”
No one is saying that Dan Majerle will be the next Phil Jackson, or Gregg Popovich, but Majerle deserved a shot, unfortunately the Suns management didn’t perceive things that way. At this point, Majerle is debating whether or not to stay on the Suns coaching staff and when asked by Doug Franz of Doug N Wolf, Marjele said he doesn’t know. Quite frankly, if Majerle decided not to return, I wouldn’t blame him one bit. Majerle deserves better.