Earl Watson told players that Suns gave him two weeks for turnaround

Oct 23, 2017, 10:47 AM | Updated: 11:30 am
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: John Gambadoro, Co-Host of Burns and Gambo

Two losses of more than 40 points didn’t help, but the Phoenix Suns firing coach Earl Watson just three games into the year had to have been about more.

One would think.

Joining the Doug & Wolf show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Monday, John Gambadoro from Burns & Gambo reported that a recent development also could have played a part in Watson’s firing.

“He went in there after one of the losses — I think it was the Clippers — and kind of made it an us versus management and ownership situation where he said, ‘Look, they only gave me two weeks to get this thing going,’ and he kind of … he was always philosophical and I think the players kind of lost him with that.

“He also told them, ‘It’s us against them, they only gave me two weeks.’ And then when word got back, they were like, ‘Wait a second, we never said you only have two weeks. What are you doing?’ So I think he was trying to create like an us-against-the-world mentality. Part of that was us against Suns ownership and management.”

Gambadoro added that Watson appeared to have lost the locker room as well.

Losing all three games to start the year and allowing 128.7 points per game on 52 percent shooting and 50 percent from three indicated the Suns were lost on defense. The starting lineup, which had played more than 30 minutes together, had been shockingly poor with a net rating of minus-48.2 points per 100 possessions.

Watson leaves Phoenix with a 33-85 overall record spanning his 33-game tenure as interim in 2015-16, last season and the first three games of this season.

“The Suns never told Earl you’ve got two weeks to play games,” Gambadoro told The Blitz with B-Train & Jurecki. “That was not true.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass over Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) du...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton free agency market could be cooling with reported Pistons trade

The Detroit Pistons appear to have removed themselves from the Deandre Ayton chase days before free agency officially begins in the NBA.
9 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton takes the court prior to Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round ...
Wills Rice

Suns’ Ayton becomes 2nd No. 1 pick to hit restricted free agency since 1985

The Suns' Deandre Ayton became the second No. 1 overall pick to hit restricted free agency since the birth of the NBA draft lottery in 1985.
1 day ago
Denver Nuggets assistant coach Patrick Mutombo talks to the team during practice July 8, 2014 at Pe...
Arizona Sports

Raptors G League coach Patrick Mutombo to join Phoenix Suns

Patrick Mutombo is joining the Suns' coaching staff as an assistant. Additionally, Randy Ayers is transitioning to coaching advisor.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne, left, is hit in the face by Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: Wings, modern power forwards of note

The Phoenix Suns have been linked to Nicolas Batum before free agency and Thaddeus Young at past trade deadlines.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) dunks as New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas looks...
Arizona Sports

Report: Phoenix Suns tender qualifying offer to C Deandre Ayton

The Suns have reportedly tendered a $16.4 million qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent on July 1.
1 day ago
Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets look on in the final seconds of their 109...
Jake Anderson

Kyrie Irving opts into $36.5 million option with Brooklyn Nets, per reports

All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will be opting into his $36.5 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
2 days ago
Earl Watson told players that Suns gave him two weeks for turnaround