Blog Entry

Gentry in line to replace Porter (UPDATE)

Posted on: February 14, 2009 4:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2009 4:27 am

PHOENIX -- Terry Porter's job, like the Phoenix Suns' roster, has been hanging in the balance for several weeks. As Suns managing partner Robert Sarver grapples with which direction to take next, there is a "good chance" assistant Alvin Gentry will take over the head coaching job, a person with knowledge of the situation told

That decision, like the fate of Amare Stoudemire, Shaquille O'Neal, and numerous other players, is in the hands of the fickle Sarver, who denied Friday that Porter's job is in danger.

“No, no. That’s an erroneous rumor,” Sarver told the Arizona Republic when asked about a New York Post report that Porter would be fired and replaced by team president Steve Kerr.

But the Suns have been discussing every aspect of their flatlining organization for several weeks, including whether to dump salary and trade either Stoudemire or O'Neal and whether to abandon the failed experiment of replacing Mike D'Antoni with Porter, a defensive-minded coach saddled with frustrated players forced to play a dramatically different style than the up-tempo one that was good for 58 wins per season over the past four years.

The person with knowledge of discussions about Porter's job security stressed that nothing is certain until Sarver actually signs off on it.

"Everything's fluid until the moment it actually happens," the person said.

UPDATE: In fact, urgency within the organization to make a coaching change appears to have overshadowed efforts to make a major trade before Thursday's deadline. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Sarver leaned hard on Kerr to seriously consider moving to the bench, but Kerr managed to avert such an untenable situation. He wants to coach someday, but the Suns' situation is too dysfunctional for learning on the job. With no ideal offer on the table for Stoudemire, Kerr now appears focused on making the right coaching decision, with Gentry the most sensible candidate -- at least in the short term. The Suns may consider expanding their search for a long-term replacement if Porter is fired or reassigned.

The appeal of Gentry is two-fold -- his experience and ties to the D'Antoni regime. His familiarity with the D'Antoni offensive system in which the Suns thrived would appeal to Steve Nash and Stoudemire, both of whom could be reinvigorated by the change.

Porter told the Arizona Republic Friday that neither Sarver nor Kerr had spoken to him about losing his job.

Gentry, previously a head coach with the Clippers, Pistons, and Heat, is a holdover from D'Antoni's staff who didn't join the former Suns coach on the Knicks' bench in New York. Gentry was viewed by some as a logical replacement when D'Antoni left amid disagreements with management over the direction of the Suns' roster following Kerr's decision to trade Shawn Marion to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal in February 2008.

If Sarver goes through with the decision to fire Porter and replace him with Gentry, he would be repudiating Kerr's decision to hire Porter in the first place. It is a point that was not lost on longtime Suns executive Jerry Colangelo, who seemed to implicate Kerr in the Suns' current struggles when he spoke Friday at a Basketball Hall of Fame news conference.

"When Steve Kerr selected Terry Porter, that was his guy," Colangelo said. "He had the faith and confidence in him. It’s either worked out or hasn’t or it’s something that’s being questioned right now. Steve has to be responsive to that one way or the other. Terry’s a good guy. He’s worked hard at it. He inherited a team in transition. People have to be held accountable, and those making those decisions should consider all of that."



Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2009 7:23 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter (UPDATE)

Anybody whp was stupid enough to trade for Shaq and his contract should've been fired immediately. Kerr and Sarver have proven themselves to be the two stooges who hired the third, Porter. Now, Gentry will take over another team in midseason. It'll remind him of the Clipper days and Sterling's organization. Nothing good will ever come of it.

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2009 1:50 pm

What did the Suns win before Kerr/Porter?

Well for one thing, they won more games before Kerr/Porter arrived.  While defense will still be an issue if Porter goes, going back to a fast paced offense will win more games than if Porter stays the rest of the season.  You may be right about the old offense not working but it's what the fans want to see, and it's what the players [except possibly Shaq] want to run.

Since: Jan 10, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2009 6:36 am

What did the Suns win before Kerr/Porter?

Of course, we now see it's not working; however, even just a year ago, everybody was (correctly) screaming, "You can't win if you can't play defense!" Don't now start waxing nostalgic about how great the good old days were in Phoenix. You wanted someone to make defense a priority, and you got it.

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 9:57 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter (UPDATE)

Apparently everyone is forgetting that the Suns are a perennial playoff loser. Their "up tempo" game under D'Antoni lost every year to teams that could even play the slightest amount of defense. They needed to slowly step off the gas as far as personnel went, and transition from the run and gun to a defensive team. Instead they brought in a coach that could coach defense, and left players who can't play any defense. Brilliant. Now they want to fire the coach? I feel sorry for Suns fans.

Since: Mar 17, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2009 9:04 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter (UPDATE)

I HATE YOU STEVE KERR !!!  Go to Hell !!! Take Terry Porter with you !

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2009 5:05 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter

Sarver forced the Colangelos out and gave control to Kerr, who forced D'Antoni out and brought Porter in to coach.  The trades Kerr have made have been stupid and to trade Stoudemire would be even more stupid.  Sarver has a $400 million investment at stake, so let's hope the businessman in him admits he made a huge mistake with Kerr.  However, owner Sarver isn't going to fire himself.  Avery Johnson would be a great solution for the coaching situation.

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2009 5:05 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter

Once again the Spurs cause the downfall of the Phoenix Suns.

This was all a trick by Spurs manangement to guarantee that the Suns wouldn't overtake them. Get an ex-spur with ties to Phoenix to infiltrate the organization and tear the walls down.

Job well done Steve.I hope that bonus from Spurs management help make that home in Palm Springs that much better.

At this pace, Kerr has already moved ahead of David Stern as the most hated man in Phoenix. In fact, maybe Stern had something to do with it as well.

He knew he would have to make appearances at this All-Star game and Suns fans were still bitter at his decision to suspend Stoudemire and Diaw in the 07 playoffs. Now, that is mostly forgotten thanks to the soap opera that Kerr has created.

And what about Amare? This was supposed to be a special moment for him and Suns fans alike. For him to be starting an All-Star game in his own arena would certainly be a moment to remember, but the only questions he is getting now is related to trade rumors and the disfunctionality that is the Suns organization.

This is worse than watching 8 years of the Bush administration. I'm going back to hockey.

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 2:23 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2009 12:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2009 12:15 pm

Gentry in line to replace Porter

Wow....Steve Kerr did a great job in destroying an exciting roster....and in record time....good for him....

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