Jeff Hornacek, the former NBA All-Star who began coaching the Suns in 2013, was fired today, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and later confirmed by multiple outlets. His termination came on the day of the Iowa caucuses, of all days. Hornacek was a star guard for Iowa State from 1982-86.
General manager Ryan McDonough informed Hornacek of the decision upon the Suns’ return to Phoenix after a 91-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night. The loss was the franchise’s 14th straight on the road with a roster decimated with injuries. The Suns have lost 19 of 21.
The Suns fired Hornacek’s two top assistants, Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting, in December, so this doesn’t come as much of a shock. Assistants Corey Gaines and Earl Watson are the frontrunners to be the interim coach.
As for who the Suns are targeting long-term, our speculation is Warriors assistant Luke Walton. Or if you want to get crazy, bring in Charles Barkley and let’s see how much he really knows about basketball. Unfortunately for Hornacek, he still had a year left on his Suns’ contract in 2015 when the Iowa State job was open, or he may have pursued it harder than he did.
Be free, Jeff Hornacek. Be free. pic.twitter.com/0G1cli44FY
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 1, 2016
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Suns’ owner Robert Sarver was speculating that his team’s problems might be because “millennials have a hard time dealing with adversity.” But Hornacek’s not a millennial, so what gives?
The Suns had a ton of injuries this year. Difficult to see how that’s Hornacek’s fault.