After nine seasons with the Phoenix Suns organization as an assistant and head coach, Alvin Gentry is no longer with the team.
Gentry met with Suns President of basketball operations Lon Babby and Managing Partner Robert Sarver late into the night on Wednesday night following the Suns first home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks since 1987. The conversations continued again Thursday morning where Gentry as well as Sarver and Babby “mutually” decided it was time to part ways.
“Alvin’s hard work, dedication and coaching ability over the last nine years have been an important part of the success of our organization,” said Robert Sarver. “These partings are never easy but are, unfortunately, part of the business of professional sports. I wish nothing but the best for Alvin and his family.”
“After nine years with the Suns, the organization and I came to a mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Alvin Gentry said. “I have the utmost respect for (Suns Managing Partner) Robert (Sarver) and what he’s done with the organization. It’s unfortunate that I was unable to accomplish what I set out to do here.”
Gentry officially became the head coach back in February 2009 taking over for Terry Porter. In the five-plus season running the show he compiled a 158-144 record including a trip to the Western Conference Finals back in 2010. The Suns currently are 13-28 on the season but Lon Babby said in a press conference Friday that this decision was not about wins and losses.
“I think we gave him a team that is better than the way we are playing,” mentioned Babby. “I don’t put that on him, in fact I don’t think put the lions share on him. This isn’t about us not winning enough games. It was just the feel that we are not progressing.”
The Suns had a complete makeover in the off-season losing the face if the franchise in Steve Nash and adding nine new players to the roster. All of which with Gentry in the final year of his contract. Babby acknowledged that it was a tough task but they are still remaining positive about the future.
“We’re well poised for the future,” explained Babby. “Good draft choices this year and going forward and we have to be realistic about where we are and how we are going to go about getting better. But we are not making any short-term decisions. We are making long-term decisions.”
So where do the Suns go from here? They have the luxury that they are off until the 23rd in a road game against the Kings so there is time to find a interim replacement and give that person time to have a few practices. Babby mentioned that the candidate will be internal and will be decided on in the next 24 to 48 hours.