Did Suns Front Office
Scapegoat Alvin Gentry?
Well Regarded Basketball Legend Alvin Gentry Takes The First Bullet For What Has Been Some Terrible Luck And Bad Player Decisions
Former Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns, Alvin Gentry.
By Bob Goodwood
Modern Times Magazine
Jan. 19, 2013 — When the 2012-2013 season opened for the Phoenix Suns in November, few thought the Suns would make much noise.
Following season where the franchise had expected deep runs into the playoffs, since Robert Sarver broke up the band — The Running Nash’s — there has been little doubt that a playoff spot would be a monumental accomplishment. The offseason also wasn’t very kind to the Phoenix Suns.
They let the two players who were the centerpieces of the championship runs of the aughties leave with no compensation so they went the free agent route. The only problem was they only signed Goran Dragic. They got lucky with Luis Scola after he fell into their laps as a contract casualty.
They signed restricted agent Eric Gordon but New Orleans matched it. Channing Frye was forced to sit out the entire season on the couch or in a lounge chair.
Then, they lost out on James Harden when the Oklahoma City Thunder made him available. What could have instantly given the Phoenix Suns a few pieces on which to build, they are stuck here in neutral.
Waiting, forever waiting. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride and most often as of late, sitting at home while all of the cool kids (playoff teams) go to the prom (the playoffs).
For all of this, Alvin Gentry and the team mutually decided to part ways.
Everyone says this is not Alvin Gentry’s fault. Then why was he fired?
There had to be SOMETHING that he did.
“The decision for Alvin and us to part ways is not a reflection on the quality of him as a coach,” said former agent Lon Babby, now Suns president of basketball operations. “He’s a good coach and better person. It’s just that at this time, and this place, at this moment, with this group, it was obviously wasn’t working. And I think we all agreed that it was best to try something different and move on from his perspective and from our perspective.”
He then said the front office “team” would decide in the next few days who the interim coach would be.
Yet, he said, “A new coach will not be a magic elixir.”
Exactly, because of the decisions he and Lance Banks and nameless others have made over the past couple of years.
Steve Kerr did a better job than this group of misfits.
Some wonder if Alvin Gentry is the scapegoat.
It’s just a guess, but Gentry was probably as happy to leave this situation behind as soon as possible: who knows what pressures he was facing behind the scenes. Surely, he knew the personnel decisions had been complete busts and he probably didn’t like that the front office still expected wins.
It is doubtful the Suns will get back to winning, playoff basketball in the next few years.
He’s no scapegoat. That moniker will have to wait for the offseason — when owner Robert Sarver has his say.
Bob Goodwood can be reached at email@example.com.
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