The Phoenix Suns organization has undergone a great deal of criticism after the way they handled the firing of Alvin Gentry and hiring of interim head coach Lindsey Hunter.
Swingman Jared Dudley told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday the locker room reaction was not one of upset, but instead one of surprise.
“It’s a situation where I think it’s unprecedented,” Dudley said. “I think if you asked the owner to the management, I think they would say this is not a normal thing where you not only fire a coach during the season, that happens, where they did interviews they were trying to find the right fit because even though we might not be in the playoff contention, this could be for next year or the year after.”
Dudley said team officials spoke with him and his teammates regarding Gentry’s replacement, and the process was something he had never experienced before.
“They interviewed players and coaches and I’ve never been a part of that during season and then you had a couple coaches step down who had been huge in this community, huge in this organization, especially Dan Majerle,” Dudley explained.
The loss of Majerle and fellow assistant Elston Turner sent shockwaves throughout the Valley. But Dudley said Hunter has performed quite well in the face of adversity.
“[Hunter]’s doing a good job,” Dudley said. “He’s come in and he’s trying to change the culture. He’s demanding more, he’s holding people accountable and it’s probably tough for him, it’s his first year, but I feel like if we keep going the way we’re going in the future we’ll be headed the right way.”
Dudley said the jury is still out on the decision to promote Hunter, but time will dictate whether the move was a smart one by the Suns organization.
“What happens if Lindsey Hunter next year the year after becomes Coach of the Year? The Suns look brilliant. What’s the right or wrong way? The only way you can tell is time. Time solves everything, it tells you everything,” Dudley stated.