|'Don't worry, Flip. I got this.' (Getty Images)|
Two days after mutually agreeing with coach Alvin Gentry to part ways, the Phoenix Suns have named former NBA player and current player development coordinator Lindsey Hunter interim head coach.
The Suns want to develop young talent they believe they have on their roster, so it makes sense to throw the player development coordinator into the head coaching seat. Here is the press release from the Suns organization:
The Phoenix Suns have named former NBA player and Suns Player Development Coordinator Lindsey Hunter the club's interim head coach, the team announced today.
A 17-year NBA veteran as a player, Hunter retired following the 2009-10 season after a successful career with Detroit (1993-00, 2003-08), Milwaukee (2000-01), the LA Lakers (2001-02), Toronto (2002-03) and Chicago (2008-10). A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers (2001-02) and Pistons (2003-04), Hunter's teams made 12 playoff appearances in 17 seasons overall. Originally selected with the 10th overall pick of 1993 NBA Draft, the 6-2, 195-pound former guard averaged 8.5 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 937 career games (438 starts).
Hunter joined the Suns' scouting department in 2012 and this season served as the coordinator of the organization's newly-formed player development department. He served in a similar post with the Chicago Bulls following his retirement.
There have been many players over the years who have had the reputation for being a coach on the court as they help younger players and teammates develop, but Hunter definitely is showing how to justify having that reputation. Hunter had a great role with this in Chicago and was brought into the Suns organization to do similar things.
With his reputation growing tremendously within the organization, it seemed like only a matter of time before he got a chance to join the coaching staff and move up the bench to become the head coach. This is also a coaching staff that may be shaken up further than just the head coaching spot.
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic tweeted that GM Lance Blanks talked about how every assistant on the coaching staff was given the opportunity to come back. And yet there were still missing assistants from practice today.
Blanks: "We saw an uptick already in practice." He said all assistants were offered the chance to return. Turner & Majerle are not present.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) January 20, 2013
Elston Turner and Dan Majerle were believed to have a good chance to get the interim head coaching job.