Exactly one year ago, the Phoenix Suns named player development coordinator Lindsey Hunter as the team’s interim head coach, electing to pass over veteran assistants Dan Majerle and Elston Turner in the process.
The move came just 48 hours after the organization parted ways with Alvin Gentry, who served as the Suns’ coach for four-plus seasons. It was a decision that was met with plenty of skepticism at the time, considering Hunter had no prior head coaching experience.
While the 14-year NBA veteran was already inheriting the Western Conference’s worst team (13-28), Hunter’s tenure did little to raise Phoenix from the cellar.
Over the final 41 games, the Suns went 12-29, losing 19 of their 29 contests by double digits.
In all, Phoenix finished with a 25-57 record — its worst since the 1968-69 inaugural campaign.
Although Hunter was considered as a candidate for the full-time job, new general manager Ryan McDonough tapped former Sun Jeff Hornacek as the 16th coach in franchise history back in May 2013.
While the former All-Star is only 40 games into his first season at the head of the bench, Hornacek has already won 23 games — nearly matching the amount Gentry and Hunter amassed all of last season.
Gentry is now serving as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, while Hunter was added to Mark Jackson’s Golden State Warriors coaching staff back in September 2013.
Both Majerle and Turner elected to leave the Suns following Hunter’s promotion, with the former being named Grand Canyon University’s men’s basketball coach in March 2013.