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Suns GM Blanks stands by decision to make Lindsey Hunter the coach

LISTEN: Lon Babby & Lance Blanks

Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks said he settled on Lindsey Hunter as the choice to replace Alvin Gentry after conducting a short — but exhaustive — search.

The team parted with Gentry on January 18 and named Hunter the interim coach on January 20, with neither move being popular among most people.

However, Blanks is confident he made the right decision.

“We sat down anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or so with each candidate and talked about a myriad of things,” Blanks told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “Their personal philosophy, what they thought they could do to help lead us in the next phase and through the next 41 games.”

Blanks said he was challenged to do what was best for the organization “regardless of external influences or what I thought people might like,” and under those directions he was left to determine who would be the best man to lead the Suns going forward.

“When everything fell out it was clear to me that Lindsey should be the next coach,” he said.

So that was the choice, and since it’s been made the Suns have been criticized nearly universally. However, Blanks said the move has been well-received by the players.

“Over the past four days you’ve just seen a pop from guys in terms of the way they’ve responded, the way they’ve acted,” Blanks said.

Blanks added that one player — and he wouldn’t say who — came off the court after the team’s second practice under Hunter and told he and president of basketball operations Lon Babby “this guy is going to be a very, very good coach.”

Blanks went on to say that no matter what people think of the decision to make Hunter the coach, he stands by the call.

“When you take out all of the noise, if you will, and you just focus on the job, which is what Lon really challenged me to do,” he said, “I have no problem putting my stamp or putting my signature on the decision to have Lindsey lead us over the next 41 games.”

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