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Was Alvin Gentry ‘threatened’ by Lindsey Hunter’s presence?


It’s been four days since Alvin Gentry and the Phoenix Suns “parted ways”.

It’s been two days since the Suns named Lindsey Hunter, who had been a player development coordinator, as the interim head coach.

Gentry granted an interview to Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 620 Tuesday and spoke about the change and how difficult it’s been.

But one moment from the interview really stood out.

Dave Burns: Were you ever comfortable with the presence of Lindsey Hunter with the Phoenix Suns?

Alvin Gentry: (Pause) Uhh…(pause)…I don’t think it’s that important to answer that. It is what it is. Like I said, the decision has been made and everybody has moved on. It is what it is.

The Suns picked Hunter to guide the team over much more experienced and qualified candidates Elston Howard and Dan Majerle. Majerle has already walked away from the coaching staff, but will receive his due salary for the rest of the season.

Hunter, whose 17-year playing career ended in 2010, was named as a special assistant for the Suns in August, prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.

“I think both of those guys are well-qualified. I think both of those guys bring different things to the table, but they’ve been in the business a long time,” Gentry said. “I thought they were well-qualified. I thought they could’ve done a great job with it, but the powers-that-be decided to go in another direction and yeah, if you’re asking me if their feelings were hurt, obviously they were.”

Despite the Suns’ dismal 13-28 record this season, Gentry did look back fondly on his nine-year stint with the team as an assistant and head coach.

“The one game that sticks in my mind is the game in L.A. (Game 6 of 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals) where Tim Thomas makes the three-point shot to get the game in overtime and we end up winning that game and we come home and win the series,” he said. “I just think that was probably the most exciting game I’ve been involved in as a playoff game.

“Regular season, no doubt in my mind, it’s the game with New Jersey where Steve Nash and Jason Kidd (December 7, 2006) had the two best games as point guards I’ve ever seen since I’ve been in this league. I think we ended up winning the game in double overtime.”

The Suns did win the game 161-157, behind Nash’s 42 points and 13 assists. Kidd has 38 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for the Nets in the loss.

Gentry reiterated that he’s got no hard feelings toward the Suns organization.

“I want the guys to be successful, you’ve got some good guys on this team,” he said. “Jared Dudley and some of these guys are quality guys. Me personally, you don’t pull against guys like that.”


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