There may be some folks who are disappointed in the news that the Phoenix Suns have parted ways with general manager Lance Blanks, but don’t count TV analyst Tom Chambers among them.
“Party, maybe,” Chambers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday of Blanks being gone. “I’ve gotten so many texts since it was announced from people who were excited about the fact that he is.
“It’s a difficult time for the Suns and hard decisions have had to be made, and I just don’t know that a lot of them have been right.”
Chambers pointed to Blanks’ lack of visibility in the public — which was well-known and documented — as a way the former GM did not help himself. After all, how can you talk about transparency when no one has access to you or your thoughts?
At any rate, the Suns went 98-132 during Blanks’ three seasons with the team, and his two draft picks, Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall, have been fairly underwhelming. Add that to a shaky track record in free agency, and you have grounds for seeking a change.
“They’ve been talking about being flexible and having money to get the right person and then you hear that they spent $18 million on Michael Beasley,” Chambers said. “You worry about the draft and Kendall Marshall, we all wanted to have an open mind about it, but they drafted him higher than he should have been drafted.”
Beasley averaged 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Suns, while Marshall chipped in 3.0 points and 3.0 assists per game. Neither shot the ball particularly well.
The questionable decision-making reached the coaching ranks, where the team chose Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry in late January, bypassing qualified candidates such as Elston Turner and Dan Majerle.
“Lindsey had absolutely no experience whatsoever to be in that driver’s seat,” Chambers said. “He’s obviously learned on the fly, he’s a good guy and he knows the game of basketball, but he was presented an opportunity there and even with him being presented an opportunity, the only coach that came on staff was a coach that Lance Blanks brought from China to be on his staff.”
So in short, Chambers is not upset or surprised that the team decided to make the move.
“You always think that Lindsey kind of came in with Lance and was put in that position to take over Alvin’s position,” he said. “Even Robert Sarver…said this is Lance Blanks’ decision.
“That being said, Lance Blanks made a lot of decisions.”
And, ultimately, not enough of them went the right way.
“I think they had lost their touch,” Chambers added. “The season ticket holders and the people listening just didn’t have faith going forward with the group that was in charge there.”