BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Mired in a stretch of losses in 19 of their last 21 games, and a well-below .500 record heading toward the All-Star break, the Phoenix Suns decided a change had to be made, hopefully for the better, so they relieved Jeff Hornacek of his head coaching duties early Monday morning.
Hornacek – who spent his first six NBA seasons with Phoenix – was just two years removed from being a runner-up for NBA Coach of the Year (Gregg Popovich, Spurs). In 2013-14, Phoenix went 48-34, and came oh-so-close to making the playoffs. Things took a nose dive after that, with the team finishing a disappointing 39-43 last season, followed by a 14-35 record this season.
In his two years plus as head coach of the Suns, Hornacek’s record was 101-112 (.474).
The team also announced that an interim head coach will be named by Tuesday – the same day they host the Toronto Raptors in the first game of a season-long seven-game homestand.
Hornacek’s the fourth head coach to be fired this season (Kevin McHale, Rockets; Lionel Hollins, Nets; David Blatt, Cavaliers).