Staggering Suns part ways with coach Alvin Gentry
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PHOENIX — Alvin Gentry had a successful run with Steve Nash and the previous version of the Phoenix Suns, leading them to the 2010 Western Conference finals.
Gentry didn’t mesh quite as well with the new bunch at Planet Orange and it cost him his job.
Unable to get a revamped roster headed in the right direction, Gentry and the last-place Suns agreed to part ways Friday, ending the five-year run of one of the franchise’s most popular coaches.
The team said an interim coach from within the organization is expected to be named by the end of the weekend.
‘‘Alvin Gentry is a good coach and a good person,’’ Suns vice president of basketball operations Lon Babby said from the US Airways Center. ‘‘He was the perfect coach for our previous group. But with the current group, all of us, including Alvin himself, realized that it just wasn’t working, the pieces just weren’t fitting.’’
Phoenix’s head coach since Terry Porter was fired at the All-Star break in 2009, Gentry got the Suns back to the freewheeling ways of former coach Mike D'Antoni, his onetime boss.
The fast-paced style worked early on, with the Suns going 54-28 and reaching the Western Conference finals in Gentry’s first full season as coach.
After that, Phoenix had mixed results, and underwent a complete overhaul over the summer. The Suns’ 13-28 record is the worst in the West.