That end came Monday, when the Suns fired Hornacek hours after a 91-78 loss to Dallas, Phoenix’s fourth straight defeat that capped a brutal 2-12 month of January. Since a startling 48-win season in 2013-14, the Suns have regressed rapidly, falling to 39 wins in 2014-15 and a 14-35 record a little more than halfway through this season. Hornacek, hailed as a brilliant hire after finishing second in the NBA Coach of the Year voting in 2014, has been criticized by scouts for an offensive system deemed far too simplistic. “They don’t run much of anything,” a scout told The Vertical recently. “It’s five guys, spread them out and try to beat you with basic stuff. It’s like watching an AAU game.”
Ken Berger: The Suns are interviewing assistants Earl Watson, Corey Gaines and Nate Bjorkgren today for interim coach job, league source says.
Ken Berger: Phoenix plays Toronto at home tomorrow, so decision on Jeff Hornacek's replacement is likely today, source says.
The Suns will interview assistant coaches today before choosing an interim head coach. Corey Gaines, a former Phoenix Mercury head coach, was promoted from player development assistant to assistant coach before this season. Earl Watson and Nate Bjorkgren, a former D-League head coach, were promoted to front-row assistants on Dec. 28 following the firings of assistant coaches Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting.
Chris Mannix: Suns formally announce the firing of Jeff Hornacek, as @Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Team says it will have an interim coach in place by Tuesday
Adrian Wojnarowski: Suns will conduct interviews with assistants today and likely choose an interim head coach from staff, league source tells @TheVertical.
The Phoenix Suns fired coach Jeff Hornacek on Sunday night, league sources told The Vertical.
Tim Bontemps: Can confirm @Adrian Wojnarowski's report that Jeff Hornacek has been fired by the Phoenix Suns. Hard to see how this is his fault, though.
Sources had told ESPN in late December that the Suns, despite the organization's well-known fondness for Hornacek, were forced to contemplate a coaching change far sooner than they hoped because of a slide that had dropped them to 11th place in the Western Conference. There was also a growing fear within the organization that the team was no longer responding to its head coach.
Marc Stein: Fresh 2016 NBA bench rumble: There is active buzz in coaching circles that Mike D'Antoni will be on Suns' list if/when that job comes open
Hornacek appears to want to stay in the NBA, according to league sources, and the Suns would be smart to give him another chance. He's smart, and creative. He hasn't done his best work this season, and there are clearly things he can improve upon. This is his first head job, after all. His brief "no technicals" rule last season seemed dictatorial, and he hasn't been able to salvage the team's relationships with Dragic, Thomas, and now Morris. Other people, including McDonough and Sarver, share in that job, and the team's issues with those players stem more from personnel moves than Hornacek's coaching. But he hasn't been able to work any player-coach magic on that front.
Bjorkgren and Watson each have been viewed as rising stars in coaching but any rapid turnaround will be difficult for the Suns, who just lost their top scorer and playmaker and now face Cleveland at home and San Antonio and Oklahoma City on the road over the next four days. The Cavaliers, Spurs and Thunder are three of the NBA's top four teams. The Suns' staff also includes player development assistants Jason Fraser, Irving Roland and Chris Darnell, video coordinator Bret Burchard and assistant video coordinator Ross Geiger.
Howard Beck: FWIW: A few weeks back, a source w/ties to Suns predicted/speculated that PHX would dump Hornacek and chase Luke Walton next summer.
Ownership and management has been reluctant to fire coach Jeff Hornacek, affording him every chance to work the team out of its struggles, league sources said.
Hornacek, a popular former Suns player, has strong relationships with Sarver and McDonough, but ownership's patience with the franchise's loss of momentum could ultimately prompt a change.
Assistant coach Mike Longabardi is the most likely short-term solution as an interim coach, should the Suns fire Hornacek.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns have been forced to contemplate a coaching change far sooner than they hoped to because of a slide that has dropped them to 12-20 and 11th in the Western Conference, with fears growing within the organization that the team is no longer responding to Hornacek.
This is the final guaranteed season on Hornacek's original four-year contract. Questions about his future with the club have been in circulation in coaching circles since the Suns elected not to pick up their team option on Hornacek for 2016-17 entering this season.
Marc Stein: Story going online now: NBA coaching sources tell @espn that Suns' 5-15 nosedive has put Jeff Hornacek's job "under immediate threat"
September 27, 2021 | 7:28 pm EDT Update
CJ McCollum: I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of the fact that 90% of the league is vaccinated. Happy Monday.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson on the state of his game: “I can make a lot of jump shots. Pretty good at defensive sliding. My timing is a little off. Reaction time’s not there. That’s being rusty two years. I anticipate in the next four weeks playing 5-on-5 again.” pic.twitter.com/Nk9YDlfyGL