Dan Majerle’s departure from the Phoenix Suns was a bit abrupt, to say the least.
A member of the team’s Ring of Honor who played eight seasons in the Valley and was an assistant coach for another five, “Thunder Dan” was very much an integral part of the Suns organization and culture.
So, when the team passed over him in favor of Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry last January, Majerle was miffed. He didn’t exactly mince words when asked about the situation then, and Tuesday, as a guest of Bickley with Marotta as the head basketball coach at Grand Canyon University, didn’t change his tune much.
“I had a conversation with Lon Babby and we had that discussion,” he said when asked when he and the team could reconcile their differences. “I still don’t think it was right, obviously.
“And I tell everybody…I am so happy I’m here, I love it here. But being head coach of the Phoenix Suns is the dream job.”
Majerle pointed to his time in the Valley with the organization.
“And then to be treated that way, to be just passed by, just threw out the door for Lindsey Hunter, to be frank, it just didn’t make sense any sense and you just don’t treat people like that,” he said. “So that feeling will never go away, but I’ve put it behind me. I’ve talked to Lon about it, I’ve been to an exhibition game.
“I love Jeff Hornacek. He was a teammate of mine, he was always great to me, I hope he does well.”
Majerle added that he’s still fond of many of the players he coached with the Suns, so bitterness is not really an option.
“I’ll be a Phoenix Suns fan until the day I die, so I hope they do great, I really do.”