A couple of weeks ago, Suns managing partner Robert Sarver gave Lon Babby a mulligan, and the Suns president of basketball operations had better make it count.

When Babby, a longtime player agent, was hired three years ago he admitted that he needed to hire a basketball genius to serve as his general manager.

Somehow, that led him to Lance Blanks, who never will be mistaken again for a basketball savant.

Babby didn’t just dribble it off the tee. He whiffed entirely.

Worse than the club’s basketball decisions during Blanks’ tenure, such as pushing to trade point guard Goran Dragic to Houston, targeting Michael Beasley in free agency to be the club’s “go-to” player or drafting point guard Kendall Marshall and then re-signing Dragic in free agency, was the disconnect that Blanks seemed to have with the Suns.

One would have thought Blanks was taking over the old Los Angeles Clippers rather than a club once regarded as a model among NBA franchises and a team that had played in the Western Conference finals as recently as 2010.

The Suns “culture” didn’t need to be changed. That has been pretty darned good for more than four decades.

The players did.

And Blanks failed to put together a team that remotely had a chance to reach the playoffs this season. Alvin Gentry, a lame-duck head coach in the last year of his contract, paid the price first. Now Blanks has, too.

Only Babby, who was granted a two-year extension by Sarver, got a reprieve.

That’s why there were two promising things that came from Babby’s meeting with the media Tuesday to discuss his search for a new general manager and the state of the club.

First, Babby said he shares responsibility for the position in which the Suns find themselves — the draft lottery for a third consecutive summer after the second-worst season in franchise history.

“I don’t for one minute absolve myself from responsiblity for the decisions that we’ve made,” Babby said. “I’m the president of basketball operations. It’s my responsiblity, ultimately. So I don’t want anybody to misconceive what’s happend here as me pointing a finger or scapegoating (Blanks). That’s not really what this is about.”