When Alvin Gentry and the Phoenix Suns decided that they'd had enough of each other last week, all signs pointed to either venerated longtime assistant coach Elston Turner or longtime Phoenix Suns legend and assistant coach Dan Majerle taking the job. Certainly not Director of Player Development Lindsey Hunter, who was just a few years removed from playing and without the longtime bench status earned by those two Suns fixtures.
Somewhat out of nowhere, Suns GM Lance Blanks chose Hunter. And almost immediately – as in, minutes after rumors spread about Hunter's ascension – reports out of Phoenix indicated that both Turner and Majerle had stormed out of Suns practice, frustrated at losing out to someone with significantly less coaching experience. On Wednesday, Majerle went on record with his frustrations with the Suns franchise, and their choice of a new head coach. From the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro, who has done fantastic work in covering a failing franchise:
"It's been a hard pill to swallow," Majerle said. "The first thing that disappoints me is usually in a situation like this, the lead assistant gets the job and that is Elston (Turner) with his 14 years of experience. Once he didn't get it, I thought I deserved it. The thing I keep hearing management say on the radio is that hiring me would've been the popular and easy thing to do. I earned it. I deserved a shot if it's not going to be Elston. I coached 5 and a half years. I coached the summer leagues. I didn't need a favor. Picking Elston would've been the easy thing to do."
"I love Phoenix," Majerle said. "I love the fans. I love the Phoenix Suns. Being head coach here would have been a dream come true."
Dan Majerle and Elston Turner discuss being passed over as head coach
Yahoo! Sports | Jan 24