3 lessons owner Mat Ishbia should learn from disaster season

After a disastrous 2023-24 campaign for the Suns, owner Mat Ishbia should reflect on the decisions he influenced since his arrival.
Phoenix Suns Introduce Kevin Durant
Phoenix Suns Introduce Kevin Durant / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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3. Familiarize himself with the team's personnel

One of the reasons why Durant wanted to join the Suns was partly due to head coach Monty Williams. He spent one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder as an assistant coach, and it's known that the two have a strong bond. Right from the start, firing Williams wasn't the best move, as he was loved by the players, even those who had yet to play for him.

The Suns replaced him with Frank Vogel, who's a defensive specialist. Vogel has met success in his previous coaching jobs for the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers. But one thing that made the head coach succeed in the league is that he had decent defensive big men who thrived in his system. Looking at Phoenix's roster, they don't have players who anchor the defense.

From these two reasons alone, it's clear that Ishbia had no clue about what the players wanted and which players the coach he hired needed. There were also reports that Vogel requested the front office to pursue a point guard. However, the owner and general manager insisted the team focus on giving the stars the ball. To add to that, the system that the head coach has in play gets perfectly executed whenever the team he's coaching has a defensive-minded big man.

""I know Frank Vogel wanted a point guard on that roster, & the front office believed that bringing a point guard over would take the ball out of the hands of Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, & Kevin Durant...I don't know if it's the front office or the coach, something is going to happen.""

Chris Haynes

The Suns have Jusuf Nurkic, who's not known for his defense. They also have Drew Eubanks, another big man who doesn't excel defensively. Although he does exert a significant amount of effort on that end of the floor, he still can't perform well on defense.