Suns Legend Sounds off on Phoenix's Coach-Hiring 'Charade'

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJanuary 24, 2013

Dec. 12, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley (3) talks to assistant coach Dan Majerle against the Memphis Grizzlies at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 82-80. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Jan. 18, 2013, the Suns agreed to part ways with head coach Alvin Gentry (via Fox Sports Arizona). The Suns would waste no time in naming Lindsey Hunter as their interim head coach.

In response to these events, legendary Suns player and assistant coach Dan Majerle has publicly expressed his displeasure.

Majerle has since left the organization. Fellow assistant coach Elson Turner has not shown up to practice (via Yahoo! Sports).

Never one to keep his thoughts to himself, Majerle opted to react on a public forum. According to Paul Coro of USA Today, Majerle had the following to say about the hiring process.

A gem of a quote.

"It's been a hard pill to swallow," Majerle said. "The first thing that disappoints me is usually in a situation like this, the interim gets the jobs and that is Elston [Turner] with his 14 years of experience. Once he didn't get it, I thought I deserved it. The thing I keep hearing management say on the radio is that hiring me would've been the popular and easy thing to do. I earned it. I deserved a shot if it's not going to be Elston. I coached 5 ½ years. I coached the summer leagues. I didn't need a favor. Picking Elston would've been the easy thing to do."

Tell us how you really feel.

To be fair, many did expect Turner to become the head coach after Gentry's departure. He was hired by the Suns in 2011 and was considered by many to be Gentry's heir apparent (via The Arizona Republic).

Phoenix chose to move in a different direction.

As for Majerle, he spent eight years as a player with the Suns. He made three All-Star appearances during that time and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team twice.

Perhaps most significant of all, Majerle had his No. 9 retired by the Phoenix Suns.

Unfortunately, the Phoenix legend never received the opportunity he felt he deserved. For that matter, neither did the loyal Elston Turner.

Tragic endings for two previously loyal assistants.

For the sake of clarity, Hunter is a brilliant basketball mind. He wouldn't have spent 17 years in the NBA as a player if that weren't the case.

Hunter's experience as a coach, however, is limited, at best. He served in the role of a player development specialist for Phoenix in recent seasons.

The more experienced Majerle and Turner are letting him know what they think about his being chosen above them.