Following the breaking news of the firing of Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson just three games into the season, the NBA officially stole the NFL’s Sunday spotlight. From Watson’s termination, to Eric Bledsoe’s Twitter plea out of Phoenix, to DeAndre Jordan’s response – this proved to be a day that not even the Patriots and Falcons matchup could counteract.
The Suns opened their season by making NBA history, in Cleveland Browns fashion, by setting an NBA-worst deficit for a season opener of 48 points.
The Suns had suffered four 40-point losses prior to the 2017-18 season. However, they have now experienced two in the last three games. Despite the short amount of time Watson held control in Phoenix (33-85 in 118 games), they were obviously due for a change.
Who better than What the Sports to give Suns owner Robert Sarver the most practical recommendations for the Suns next head coaching move?
The Longest Yard (2005)
Aside from Jason Garrett, how many coaches do you know of that could assemble a disorderly group of convicts and still achieve the ultimate coaching goal of wins? Coach Scarborough embodies the perfect amounts of passion, intensity and relatability in order to coach Paul Crewe and company to a win against the powerful prison guards. If he can accomplish all this with the “Longest Yard” crew, he’d surely last longer than three games with the Suns. Scarborough will be in his element in Phoenix, often the underdog in today’s NBA.
Coming into Phoenix as just the coach would be a relief for Jackie Moon, considering his overwhelming roles as owner, head coach, and player for the Flint Tropics. Moon has proved to be a selfless asset, ultimately trading the team washing machine to the Kentucky Colonels for Ed Monix, a former backup NBA point guard. A smart initial coaching move would be to get that washer back, in return for Eric Bledsoe.
The Tropics, part of the American Basketball Association, were in danger of dissolving: the four best teams in 1976 were able to merge into the NBA, while every other team was left behind to a dying league. In this time of despair, Moon’s demonstration of leadership is a commodity the Suns have arguably not been able to acquire since Mike D’Antoni from 2003-08. Why not give it a shot?
Kicking and Screaming (2005)
Stepping up in a time of crisis when the little league soccer Tigers were in need of a coach, Phil Weston, oddly-enough a Jackie Moon look-alike, saved the day… eventually. Despite the incredibly rough start, Weston worked his team in a manner that would yield wins. He proved his ability to recruit, an incredibly necessary skill as a head coach, in adding two young, talented Italian boys to the roster.
Weston also has the skill of not playing favorites. By benching his own son for the semi-final game, he proved his ruthlessness, a desirable attribute for a head coach in the NBA trying rebuild. He was able to ultimately turn his trainwreck of a team completely around, turning them into league champions by the end of the season – exactly what the Suns are now looking for a head coach to do for them.
Rocky I, II, III (1976, 1979, 1982)
Mickey, the man largely responsible for the success of Rocky Balboa, would be an incredible candidate for the Suns head coaching job. From his inspirational talks to his unmatched coaching ability, he could truly be the spark to ignite the dim-burning flames of the Suns.
Mickey is an incredible motivator, something that the Suns desperately need. Mickey’s ability to train, mentor and coach Rocky proves a potentially valuable asset for Phoenix.
Where do I even begin in mentioning O’Houlihan’s qualifications for this job? He is a hard-nosed, strong-minded, all around motivational guy. His unconventional coaching style as well as a combination of off-the-wall drills keep his players on their toes and always ready to perform. He understands the importance of making practices strenuous, ultimately allowing difficult game situations to be a thing of the past. After all, “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”
He instills a great deal of confidence in each one of his players, a virtue that the Suns could currently thrive off of. His unorthodox ways of going about business could not only benefit this organization but the league as a whole.
From beginning to end, these candidates dominate other prospects for the Phoenix Suns head coach position. Mr. Sarver, when you see this, ask yourself: What the Sports would make me choose anyone not featured in this list?