The inevitable in Arizona has happened.
After all the turmoil including players demanding trades, others suffering season-ending injuries, assistant coaches getting fired, and a guillotine seemingly dangling over the coaching seat in Phoenix, we finally see the sideline change many expected over the past month (if not longer).
This comes a little over a month after the Suns decided to shake things up and rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic by firing Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting as assistant coaches.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported very early Monday morning that the Phoenix Suns fired coach Jeff Hornacek midway through his third season on the job. The Suns made Hornacek’s firing official on Monday morning.
— #WeArePHX (@Suns) February 1, 2016
The Suns’ era with Hornacek at the helm looked instantly promising. In a year in which the Suns were expected to rival the Philadelphia 76ers for worst team in a tanking performance, his 2013-14 Phoenix squad blew expectations out of the water. The Suns went from being projected to win around 20 games to posting a 48-34 record. Hornacek finished second to only San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich in Coach of the Year voting, garnering 339 voting points (to 380 for Pop) and 37 of the 124 first-place votes (Pop received 59).
Unfortunately, that’s where the good times ended. Last season, the Suns had injuries and backcourt turmoil that led to trading Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas (after signing him that summer) as Phoenix limped to a 33-49 record. This season, the Suns lost Eric Bledsoe to a season-ending surgery and Markieff Morris was unhappy all offseason and much of the regular season after the team traded away his twin brother, Marcus Morris.
The Suns have lost 19 of their last 21 games and currently sit at 14-35 after falling 91-78 at Dallas on Sunday night and have bottom five rankings in both offensive and defensive rating. Hornacek leaves with a record of 101-112.