The theme of the Phoenix Suns’ last three permanent head coaching hires has been inexperience.
Jeff Hornacek, Earl Watson and Igor Kokoskov all had no prior experience as head coaches in the NBA and all three failed in Phoenix.
That, along with the Suns’ current situation, seemingly makes that the X-factor in the team’s search for a new head coach now more than ever.
Former Phoenix Suns forward and current Brooklyn Net Jared Dudley joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta to give some credence to that claim.
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“It’s very important,” Dudley said. “Someone that’s been there, someone that’s had success, someone that’s highly coveted. I remember last year when they were going after (Mike) Budenholzer — I wanted them to hire Budenholzer.”
The favorite in the current search has been former New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, who is currently an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Williams coached New Orleans for five seasons from 2010-15, making the playoffs twice. He returned to coaching this season after stepping away following the death of his wife in 2016.
Dudley notes that Williams checks a whole lot of boxes.
“Monty would be big-time for the Suns,” he said. “His leadership skills, accountability skills — when he walks in he’s a leader of men. I thought his Xs and Os that I had heard through other players, players respect him.
“You’re not going to be able to disrespect him or undermine anything he has to do and I really think if not the Suns, there will be a team he’s a head coach for really, really soon.”
Williams has reportedly had one interview already with the Suns and a second is coming. He is also in the mix for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching vacancy, per reports.
The Suns also reportedly interviewed Portland assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.
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