Share this story...
Latest News

Suns’ Earl Watson: Interim job a ‘priceless opportunity’ for him

Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson makes a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Earl Watson, Suns interim head coach

Maybe mercifully, there is only one game remaining on the Phoenix Suns’ 2015-16 schedule.

The Suns will finish their 82-game journey against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

What follows that is anyone’s guess. Phoenix’s front office, headed up by general manager Ryan McDonough, faces many important decisions in hopes of changing the direction of a franchise that has been a postseason spectator for the last six years.

The biggest decision centers around the head coach. Jeff Hornacek was unceremoniously fired in February, paving the way for coaching newcomer Earl Watson to take the reins on an interim basis. Under Watson, the Suns have gone 8-24, but there have been enough signs of progress to make the 36-year-old a candidate for the permanent head coaching spot.

Watson joined Doug and Wolf in studio Tuesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and was asked if he felt he deserved the job going forward.

“I think every person in the world deserves to pursue their dream and their opportunity,” Watson said. “I think every person in the world, if they sacrifice and they stay true to their heart, I think every person in the world would get that.

“One thing about rejection — it’s a positive-negative. Maybe I’m just foolish, because I’ve never been rejected and not had a better opportunity present itself for me. So, I don’t see a way that I can fail.”

Cryptic, yes. But Watson continued, acknowledging he’s fine with whatever decision Suns’ brass makes this summer.

“Whatever happens moving forward, the management and ownership have to do what’s best for their vision,” he said. “Whatever happens with our staff moving forward, this was a priceless opportunity because now, it solidified a lot of things I knew I could to and it created opportunity for things I want to do more.”

Reports circulated late last week that there are four candidates on the Suns’ radar; Golden State assistant coach Luke Walton, Grand Canyon head coach Dan Majerle, former Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni and Watson.

Watson is dealing with the rumors positively.

“I like all those guys,” he said. “I like them all, I respect them all, they’re all creative in their own way. The way I see competition is, it’s never a sprint. It’s a marathon.”

Watson admitted he’s got tunnel vision when it comes to the tasks in front of him and his own possible future in Phoenix.

“I didn’t even know about these names until I did an interview last week, because I just don’t check that stuff, ” he said. “It’s not really my thing. I was kind of caught off-guard when someone asked me because I didn’t even know it.

“I don’t ever get emotionally attached to it. I don’t speak on it. I don’t get involved with it. The only thing I worry about is I want to make sure the players don’t get distracted by it and we stay involved and finish what we started.”

Related Links