At 13-28, the Phoenix Suns sit in last place in the Western Conference and are a far cry from the team they were at this point last season.
Although the team is clearly closer to a top 3 pick in June’s draft than playoff contention, one thing is for certain: the players support the front office’s decision to tag Lindsey Hunter as the interim head coach Sunday.
“He brings that sort of dog to the team,” first-year Sun Michael Beasley said. “He knows what he wants, he’s been in the league for awhile and has championships. I liked [the move].”
Hunter has quite a task ahead of him, as Phoenix has dropped 13 of its last 15 games, including losing streaks of five and six games a piece.
While Hunter has only been with the organization since 2012 and has no head coaching experience on his resume, his pedigree as a player lends itself to a level of credibility amongst his team.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Sebastian Telfair said. “Lindsey is going to hold everyone accountable. He was a player, so the players respect him. I’m anxious to see how this goes.”
When asked what he liked most about his new coach, Telfair said the former NBA veteran doesn’t mince his words.
“No B.S.,” said Telfair. “He’s been a straight shooter for us as a developmental guy. We will see how that turns over as a head coach.”
Although the team has a six-day layoff between last Thursday’s 98-94 loss to the Bucks and Wednesday’s road game against the Kings, the team already appears to have felt the impact of the coaching move on the practice court.
“Obviously this year hasn’t gone the way that we hoped it would go,” rookie point guard Kendall Marshall said. “I think we took a great step with our first practice [under Hunter]. Everybody competed hard and there was a lot of positivity in the gym.”