PHOENIX SUNS

Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek: ‘Your role is to play basketball’

Apr 7, 2015, 4:52 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm

Follow @Vincemarotta...

LISTEN: Jeff Hornacek, Suns head coach

After the Phoenix Suns beat the Utah Jazz 87-85 last Saturday night, guard Archie Goodwin joined the team’s post-game radio show and wondered about a lack of leadership and defined roles for players this season.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek, the man responsible for creating roles for players, didn’t seem to pleased about the second-year player’s comments.

“It’s typical,” Hornacek told Doug and Wolf Tuesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “They always pull out ‘what’s my role?’

“Well, your role is to play basketball. It’s to play defense, it’s to pass the ball, it’s to run the offense and not break things off.”

The second-year head coach did admit that Goodwin’s comments weren’t totally misguided.

“He’s got a little bit of a point. I think most of our guys have a scoring mentality and we need more guys to have a passing mentality.”

The Suns (39-38) are near the bottom of the league in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.

In terms of leadership, it’s no secret the Suns have struggled in that area with the current make-up of their roster, especially since the trade deadline. Phoenix was the seventh-youngest team in the league at the beginning of the season and has since traded seasoned veterans Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas.

Hornacek believes the best type of team leader is one that creates an example with his on-court performance and can also be vocal with his teammates.

“Usually your leaders are the best players on the team because they’re doing the right things 95 percent of the time,” he said. “It’s tough to be a leader when you’re the one making the mistakes. How do you go yell at somebody else and get the guys to do something whey you’re not doing it?

“The best leaders are the guys that will do in actions and will do it with their words. While they’re on the court, they’ll try to pump somebody up and give somebody encouragement. Right now, we’re a young team and we don’t have one guy that has developed into that yet.”

Hornacek went on to say that he understands the nature of Goodwin’s comments about defined roles.

“Some guys pull that out when they’re not getting the minutes they think they should be getting,” he said. “So you hear a lot of that too. Sometimes it’s tough on bench guys. They’ll say ‘what’s my role.’ I don’t know.

“Some nights, you’re playing well and you’re going to play 15 to 20 minutes. Other nights, you’re hurting us and you’re going to play five minutes.”

Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Cen...

Dan Bickley

Bickley: ‘It’s time to discard expectations of championship-or-bust’ for Phoenix Suns

It’s not over yet for the Suns, but the first that has to change is our luck as a basketball city, and that’s completely out of our control.

4 hours ago

Ish Wainright Suns...

Arizona Sports

Suns bringing back Ish Wainright on 2-way contract, waive Theo Maledon

Forward Ish Wainright is re-joining the Phoenix Suns on a two-way contract after a stint with the Portland Trail Blazers this season.

7 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: What are the Phoenix Suns’ biggest issues right now?

Wolf & Luke discuss the Suns' biggest issues after losing to Houston and Oklahoma City over the weekend.

10 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: We were all booing the Phoenix Suns after a sloppy weekend

After a weekend where the Suns lost two games, Dan Bickley does his Bickley Blast on the turnovers and what the team needs to do moving forward.

11 hours ago

Kevin Durant faces a Thunder double-team...

Kevin Zimmerman

It’s on the Suns’ players to clean up their turnover rate

Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal all have their individual turnover problems to grapple with for the Phoenix Suns.

12 hours ago

Devin Booker...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns expect Devin Booker ankle injury to keep him out for week or more

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker sprained his right ankle Saturday and could miss more than a week, reports Shams Charania in an injury update.

13 hours ago

Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek: ‘Your role is to play basketball’