Phoenix Suns: Gerald Green’s Agent Blasts Jeff Hornacek

Nov 30, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek and forward Gerald Green (14) against the Orlando Magic at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek and forward Gerald Green (14) against the Orlando Magic at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The last month of the Phoenix Suns’ 2014-15 season has been like an episode of HBO’s The Leftovers: overly dramatic, entirely depressing, and it can’t end soon enough.

After last night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Suns are officially out of the playoffs for the fifth season in a row — the franchise’s longest playoff drought since 1971-75. Last season Phoenix was the feel-good story of the league. This season, things haven’t gone according to plan and the air is suffocatingly thick with disappointment.

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At this point in the season, the Suns were expected to be fighting for a playoff spot. Instead, Gerald Green has somehow become to focal point of Suns-related discussions.

Following a strong outing against the Utah Jazz in which he carried Phoenix’s offense off the bench, Green sounded off about his future with the Suns, saying he wanted to re-sign with the team and retire a Sun, but expressing his uncertainty the team even wanted him anymore.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek offered his explanation to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic on why Green’s minutes have been so up-and-down over the last few months, starting with a “DNP – CD” against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 30:

"“‘He never really seemed to get it going and then it comes to the point where, if you’re not scoring and your defense isn’t picking up, it’s hard to stay in the game,’ Hornacek said.“‘The next guy is going, ‘I needed help here and the guy wasn’t here.’ We’re trying to develop something for the future, not just being out here for everybody to play in the game. We want to get to a top-notch winning level and you’ve got to do it on both sides.'”"

It appears Green’s agent, Kevin Bradbury, had some major problems with what Hornacek had to say about his client’s benching. Bradbury fired back in an interview with Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

"“The numbers how pretty clearly that Gerald is not the terrible defensive player he is being made out to be,” Bradbury said. “The Suns played him a lot last year, they liked what he brought, when he was rolling, the team was rolling and no one was complaining about his defense.“It’s unfortunate because the team isn’t where some people thought it would or should be at this point in the season. I’m not sure why that falls on one guy all of a sudden, especially when they have known all along what they have with Gerald. He can score, and can score a lot quickly, when you give him the minutes. He brings it on the defensive end, consistent with what the team brings as a unit. But when you hear the coach saying he is so bad that he can’t be on the floor? That’s nonsense. You have to wonder where that comes from and why.”"

On the surface, Bradbury has a point. Green’s benching was a major surprise at the time and seemed to come out of nowhere. Green’s defense deteriorated with inconsistent minutes, as he seemed to be trying so hard not to make mistakes that he was getting burned or fouling his man.

But on one of the worst defensive teams in the league, Green’s defensive rating (105.8) is not far off the team’s defensive rating as a whole (103.2). That being said, the Suns did improve their defensive rating to 101.2 since the All-Star break, mostly with Green playing inconsistent minutes.

Green’s agent has every right to protect his client; this is the last year of Green’s $3.5 million contract and his inconsistent playing time over the last two and a half months won’t help in contract negotiations this summer.

But we’ve reached the point of the season where everyone is busy pointing fingers instead of looking in the mirror, leaving the Suns with a locker room of discord that probably can’t wait for these last three games of the season to be over.

With free agents like Brandon Knight, Brandan Wright and Green all looking for new contracts this summer, the dark atmosphere in Phoenix could be a deterrent to their desire to re-sign, not to mention a major roadblock for the Suns attempting to bring in the big-name star they so desperately need.

With everyone busy blaming someone else, this organization is in major need of a makeover.

Next: Charles Barkley Inducted Into The Arizona Sports Hall Of Fame

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