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Gentry: Player development shouldn’t have been the issue

LISTEN: Alvin Gentry, former Suns head coach

Alvin Gentry’s dismissal as head coach of the Phoenix Suns left many people scratching their heads, and the team hiring Lindsey Hunter as his replacement only intensified those feelings.

Phoenix’s professional basketball club has a .317 winning percentage at the season’s midpoint, which left the team in last place in the Western Conference.

“When you’re 13-28 and having trouble winning at home something’s got to happen,” Gentry told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “I’ve been in this business long enough to know that it’s usually a change in coaching.”

Earlier in January it was reported that the Suns were prepared to start playing more of their younger players. The coach says that shouldn’t have had anything to do with he and the team parting ways, since Gentry said he felt qualified to lead the young guys on the team even though the front office apparently felt otherwise.

“As a staff that’s what we did try to do, we tried to incorporate some of the young guys,” he said. “As a coach you still want to try to win games because that pretty much what were judged by, wins and losses.”

The Suns currently have six players on their roster with two years or less worth of experience in the NBA.

Hunter, who steps into Gentry’s role, previously served as player development coordinator for the team and has zero experience as a head coach anywhere.

When asked how he felt about the coaching change, Gentry gave the impression he wasn’t exactly on board with the idea.

“Decisions are made that you don’t agree with,” he said. “They have the right to do that.”

Gentry said he will use this new-found time off to visit his daughter, visit other teams around the league and visit his friend Larry Brown at Southern Methodist University because, quite simply, he can’t stand to just sit around.

“I’m going to focus on my next endeavor and the next place that I can possibly be.”


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