In a shocking and somewhat unexpected move, the Phoenix Suns and head coach Alvin Gentry have reportedly parted ways.
According to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, the Suns have announced that they are going to go in a different direction with their head coach:
Suns officially announce that Alvin Gentry is out as head coach— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) January 18, 2013
Phoenix hasn't been able to replicate its success under former head coach Mike D'Antoni with Gentry at the helm. Former stars Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire have moved on to greener pastures, and this team hasn't been able to recover.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns are wasting no time moving forward and are already looking within to find their next head coach:
After firing of Alvin Gentry today, top candidates to become Suns interim coach: assistants Elston Turner and Lindsey Hunter, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 18, 2013
Gentry will finish his Suns coaching career with a record of 158-144 in parts of five seasons. The Suns currently sit at 13-28, last in the Pacific Division.
Taking over on an interim basis for the fired Terry Porter in the middle of the 2008-09 season, Gentry was a hit with players and fans and retained the head coaching position as the Suns finished the year on an 18-13 run under his leadership.
After nearly four seasons of play, Gentry's opportunities to turn this franchise back into a consistent winner have run out.
Phoenix went to the playoffs just once with Gentry as head coach, losing in the conference finals to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009-10 season.