After coming to the Phoenix Suns in December 2008, Jared Dudley saw his career take off under the direction of former head coach Alvin Gentry.
But while the organization’s decision to part ways with Gentry Friday hit the fifth-year veteran hard, Dudley admits that he hasn’t been very vocal regarding the ongoing coaching drama.
Be it about Gentry, interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, or any other option for that matter.
“In this business, you kind of don’t ask a lot of questions,” Dudley told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday. “I get paid to play, so whoever is the coach, if Robert Sarver is the coach, I would go out there like business is usual.”
While business has been anything but usual for the Suns (13-28) in the aftermath of last Thursday’s 98-94 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Dudley said the onus remains on the team to play through the recent departures of Gentry and assistant coach Dan Majerle.
“It’s unfortunate the way we’ve played and the year we’ve had so far,” said Dudley. “Hopefully, we can salvage it and end on a good note these last 41 games.”
Although Dudley took the high road when discussing the team’s recent shakeup, he did touch on his teammates’ collective reaction over the past few days.
“I think everyone was shocked,” said Dudley. “I mean you have to call it what is, your head coach gets fired, a couple of assistants leave and they bring a player development coach as a head coach. Everyone was kind of taken aback.”
While the players have had plenty of time to digest the changes and familiarize themselves with interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, the question remains as to whether or not the first-time coach has the respect of his team.
Dudley doesn’t think that will be an issue when the Suns open up the second half of their season Wednesday night in Sacramento.
“Lindsey has the respect of the players, because he played in the NBA for 17 seasons,” said Dudley. “That right there demands respect. Hey, that’s Grant Hill, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd status. That’s very impressive.”
Impressive or not, Hunter will certainly have his hands full. With seven new face on the roster, the Suns have certainly struggled to find an identity through 41 games and sit in last place in the Western Conference.