Suns Off-Season: Three-step process to change the culture of a rebuilding NBA team

Feb 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Jazz 100-98. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Following the second-worst season in Suns franchise history changes were needed, and finally, the organization is going about things the correct way.

  •  Step 1: Hire a young, bright GM, who has a great track record as a talent evaluator.
  • Step 2: Non-flashy signing of a head coach that was a former player for Phoenix that everybody likes.
  • Step 3: Add other expert talent evaluators to the scouting staff to support the head coach.

All of these steps have come to fruition quickly with the official introduction of Jeff Hornacek as head coach Tuesday morning. The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro also broke the news that Wizards’ director of player personnel Pat Connelly and former Lakers assistant GM Ronnie Lester are joining Hornacek as “master evaluators” in the words of the new general manager Ryan McDonough who was hired in early May.

The additions of McDonough and Hornacek are great illustrations of the change in culture that is needed for make another run eventually at the playoffs and hopefully a championship down the line. In the rebuilding stages the organization needs to temper expectations so that the players, coaches and management can flourish without any extra stress or pressure. However, that is a lot to ask fans in one of the bigger markets in the NBA with such a decorated history as the Phoenix Suns.

The good PR move that gets the fanbase excited is the hiring of the former player that was likable and helps those who were around at the time to reminisce back to a time when Phoenix was much more competitive than they are now, missing the playoffs three consecutive seasons.

Hornacek is that person, but was hired for more substantial reasons. After his 14-year NBA career, he was a shooting coach for the Utah Jazz, then promoted to one of Tyrone Corbin’s assistants.

All of these fantastic hirings are basically worthless if management can’t upgrade the talent in the coming years through the draft and free agency, so we’ll see what happens.

Topics: Basketball, Jeff Hornacek, NBA, New Head Coach, Phoenix Suns, Ryan Mcdonough, Sports

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