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Phoenix Suns promote Earl Watson to interim head coach

About 17 hours after word of Jeff Hornacek’s firing by the Phoenix Suns first leaked, the team has announced assistant coach Earl Watson will be their interim head coach.

The news was first reported by Yahoo!’s Marc J. Spears.

Watson, 36, has only been on the Suns bench since late December, when he was promoted to full-time assistant status after Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting were fired.

Watson spent 13 seasons in the NBA with seven different teams, most recently the 2013-14 season with the Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.4 assists per game mostly as a reserve point guard.

The former UCLA star began his coaching career with the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League in 2014-15, and helped the team to a 32-18 record, which was first in the Southwest Division.

The Suns hired Watson as a player development coach for this season, and he spent the first six months of his employment in that role, before serving under Hornacek for the last 17 games.

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