Reeling Phoenix Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek | Inquirer Sports

Reeling Phoenix Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

/ 09:21 AM February 02, 2016

Jeff Hornacek, Archie Goodwin

Phoenix Suns’ Archie Goodwin (20) takes instruction from head coach Jeff Hornacek during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Dallas. AP

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns, mired in one of the worst stretches in their history, have fired coach Jeff Hornacek and promoted Earl Watson to interim coach.

Watson was selected after interviews were conducted Monday with all three Suns assistants.


Watson was an NBA point guard for 13 seasons and was in his first season as a Suns assistant after a year as an assistant coach of the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League.


The 36-year-old Watson retired as a player in 2014 after appearing in 878 games for Portland, Seattle/Oklahoma City, Memphis, Denver, Indiana and Utah.

The Suns’ season has been swirling rapidly down the drain for weeks and Hornacek must have known his days as coach were numbered.

READ: LeBron James stars as Cavaliers clip Suns

The Suns finally fired him after the team ran its road losing streak to 14 games with a loss at Dallas on Sunday.

Watson inherits something of a mess of a roster and trades are a certainty by the Feb. 18 deadline.

Phoenix ranks last in the NBA in opponent’s field goal percentage, next-to-last in opponent’s 3-point percentage and last in opponent steals.


The team has lost 10 of 11 games and 19 of its past 21. At 14-35, Phoenix’s record is tied for fourth worst in the NBA and the Suns are headed for a franchise-record sixth consecutive season without making the playoffs, all under owner Robert Sarver.

Hornacek got off to a good start in his first head coaching job. Phoenix won 48 games in 2013-14, 23 more than the previous season, and just missed making the postseason. Hornacek was runner-up to Gregg Popovich for NBA coach of the year. But last season, the team slipped to 39-43.

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READ: Goodwin ditches play, hits game winner to lift Suns over Hawks

TAGS: Basketball, Coach, fired, Jeff Hornacek, NBA, Phoenix Suns

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