The Phoenix Suns are a team in search of a general manager.
Monday, the organization cut ties with GM Lance Blanks following a difficult 25-57 campaign — the second-worst mark in team’s 45-year history.
Much of the blame ultimately falls on Blanks’ shoulders — after all, he was the architect of a roster that failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season.
But Blanks wasn’t solely culpable for the organization’s failings, and team president of basketball operations Lon Babby admitted as much in a conversation with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Tuesday.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to not accept my share of responsibility,” Babby said. “I’m ultimately responsible, I’m the president of basketball operations and I think I have to accept that responsibility and learn from it.
“(Team owner) Robert (Sarver) gave me two more years and I’m going to work my rear end off for those two years to continue to do the best I can, but I don’t think it’s appropriate or graceful for me to say I had nothing to do with decisions that have been made.”
The Suns did have an uncommon front office structure, with Babby shouldering many of the duties general managers around the league have tradtionally performed. Will that “sharing of power” cost the Suns top flight candidates?
“People are coming here knowing I’m here and I hope they view that as a positive and not as a negative,” he said. “I think I bring a lot to the table in terms of my areas of expertise and I’m very respectful of my limitations and I think I’ve honored that all through my time here.
“I’ve not run into it as an issue so far and I hope I don’t going forward, but I make it clear that the person coming into that position is going to be empowered in a very, very significant way.”
So now, the search for Blanks’ replacement begins. Babby stated he’s looking for a ‘first-rate talent evaluator’ to take over the reins of the general manager post.