The Phoenix Suns surprised the Association Sunday, as the “Arizona Republic” reported that the team has handed over the reins of their club to former NBA shooting guard Lindsey Hunter, as their interim head coach for the balance of the campaign. Hunter, who has never coached at any level, was in his first year as director of player personnel for the Suns. He will be the new voice in the locker room that replaces veteran coach Alvin Gentry, whom the club dismissed on Friday. Most observers expected the team to choose from among their three current assistant coaches; Igor Kokoskov, Dan Majerle and Elston Turner. Marjerle, reportedly is expected to leave the club.
The 42-year-old former guard played for 17 seasons in the Association, the majority with the Detroit Pistons, after they chose him as the tenth pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. Hunter also had stints with Milwaukee, Toronto, Chicago and with the Lakers, as he helped them win the NBA Finals in the 2002 campaign. He would do the same thing two years later, helping the Pistons win the NBA Title in June, of 2004.
Hunter now becomes the second head coach currently in the Association, who went from the Suns director of player personnel, to becoming a head coach without experience on the bench. Los Angeles Clippers bench boss Vinny Del Negro; made the same leap when he took over the Chicago Bulls in 2008.