Phoenix Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby knew the risk he was taking when the team opted to make a coaching change earlier this month from Alvin Gentry to Lindsey Hunter.
Babby also admits he understood that the decision would more than likely cost the organization valuable assistants in Dan Majerle and Elston Turner.
He even suggested to the rest of the team’s front office that each of those moves would likely create a notable reaction in the Phoenix community.
Still, Babby told Arizona Sports Doug & Wolf Wednesday that he didn’t regret any of the decisions he and general manager Lance Blanks made over the past two weeks.
“There was nothing that surprised me,” Babby said of the reaction. “The decisions we made were in spite of those concerns.
“Do I wish people gave us the benefit of the doubt and that people didn’t make presumptions against us sometimes? Sure. But at the end of the day, we have to earn that. And if we haven’t, we have to work harder to earn that.”
While Babby said he’s very aware of the frustration many fans around the Valley feel in regards to the recent moves, the Suns president of basketball operations believes his job is to make tough choices even if popular opinion is not in his corner.
“As long as you are making decisions for the right reasons, you’re going to be okay,” said Babby. “If you start worrying about public reaction, and I’m not saying it’s unimportant, but if you make the decisions solely to win the press conference you can’t succeed because you’ll have no principles.”
While a winning culture hasn’t been fostered during Babby’s brief tenure — the team has missed two straight postseasons since he took over the basketball operations department in July 2010 — he remains adamant that the organization’s long-term goals require patience and a willingness to develop young talent.
But when asked if those long-term goals should be achieved by losing in the short-term, Babby said that will never be the Suns’ mindset moving forward.
“We always want to have the big picture in mind, no question about it,” said Babby. “But you’ve got to go out there and try to win every night, you’ve got to go out there and compete.
“I don’t know how you go to work every day and lead a group of people, whether it’s my job, Lance’s job or most importantly Lindsey’s job, and have as your goal to lose.”