Phoenix Suns fire head coach Jeff Hornacek
Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek has been fired upon returning home from a 91-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Phoenix Suns fired coach Jeff Hornacek, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 1, 2016
The Suns lost the final game of a four-game road trip Sunday night in Dallas where they scored nine points in the fourth quarter, all by Markieff Morris.
On the season they are 14-35, just 4-22 on the road. They have lost 19 of their last 21.
Wojnarowski reports that either Corey Gaines or Earl Watson will take over as the interim head coach.
The Suns’ season hit multiple new lows that has included a home loss to the 6-39 Philadelphia 76ers and blowout losses against the 9-37 Los Angeles Lakers and the 14-32 Minnesota Timberwolves.
Hornacek had an option for next season that the Suns could have picked up in the offseason, but they declined to do so.
In the summer of 2013, new general manager Ryan McDonough was brought in by the organization and Hornacek was hired three weeks later.
With a team that many expected to falter and land the Suns a top-three draft pick, the Suns thrived in the 2013-14 season to 48 wins, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot. Hornacek was the runner-up for the Coach of the Year award and was awarded the Coach of the Month award in December 2013.
The following season with much higher expectations, the Suns won only 39 games. In Feb. of 2014, the Suns traded Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas and later that summer would also trade Marcus Morris.
A new backcourt and the big free agent signing of Tyson Chandler had the Suns looking to once again be in the playoff race, but the Suns have flat-lined in the 2015-16 season.
The product for that record has come from a tumultuous record in the months of December and January. The team had a stretch during that period when they went 1-15.
In December, the Suns appeared to have benched Markieff Morris, who did not play for five games. Four games after returning to the rotation, Morris was suspended for two games after throwing a towel at Hornacek.
Eric Bledsoe was ruled out for the rest of the season after a meniscus injury on Dec. 26.
Hornacek went 101-112 in his three years with the Suns. He is the third coach to be fired this season, joining Houston’s Kevin McHale and Cleveland’s Dave Blatt. Two of his assistants were let go in late December.
Tuesday, the Suns start a seven-game homestand that keeps them in Phoenix until after the All-Star break. They will play only one road game in February — the 22nd in Los Angeles against the Clippers.