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Former Suns GM McDonough talks biggest regrets, reaction to being fired

For the first time since being fired nine days before the start of the season, former Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough joined ESPN’s “The Jump” to discuss his departure.

McDonough revealed that he was fired over the phone and was as surprised as anyone.

“It was unexpected, but as a coach and general manager in this league you can get fired at any time,” he said. “I think there are certain times on the calendar where it can be more expected.”

McDonough alluded to the possibility he was not done constructing the Suns’ opening night roster.

“It was a little bit frustrating, and I get that any head coach or general manager fired say, ‘If I only had more time, I would have done this and that,’ but I viewed the roster as not fully completed and we were working on a few trades to upgrade the team and I guess I thought we had more time than I ended up having,” he said.

In terms of his biggest regrets, McDonough said it came down to how he handled things publicly with some players.

“We could have done better internally, from ownership and the front office and our coaching staff, in terms of communication with the players and vice versa,” he said.

McDonough was known for voicing his opinions on his players, such as the instance he joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station last October and said former Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe’s actions before being traded were “the opposite of what a leader does.”

McDonough was fired on Oct. 8, three games into the preseason and nine days before the team’s season opener against the Dallas Mavericks. In his place, vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein have overseen the role on a temporary basis.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the day after McDonough had been fired that the team was leaning toward making Jones the team’s permanent general manager.

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