Phoenix Suns Are Headed in the Wrong Direction Under Lance Blanks

Jonathan Cullen@@jcullen71Senior Writer IJanuary 24, 2013

The Suns already miss Gentry's leadership.
The Suns already miss Gentry's leadership.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It has become too hard to overlook now. The Phoenix Suns have officially become a disaster this year.

Bad trades, so-so draft picks, poor talent evaluations, mediocre players signed to ugly contracts.

The Suns have had almost every recent decision go badly, moving Phoenix further away from contention.

The worst part of all of this? Most of the damage is self-inflicted, and you can trace most of these bad decisions back to Suns general manager Lance Blanks, who has struggled since joining the team as general manager in 2010.

Things have gone so badly this season that the Suns felt the need to fire classy and successful coach Alvin Gentry, the only really stable and credible part of the team's management.

The Suns should have been extending Gentry, not placing the blame for the team's poor start on him. Gentry simply wasn't given enough to work with. The 13-28 record was a reflection of the players provided by Blanks, not the coach.

The man picked to replace Gentry? Lindsey Hunter, whose biggest attribute seems to be that he was hired by Blanks. Hunter's hiring is recapped here by Stefan Swiat from Suns.com.

Hunter's other, more recent claim to fame is that he was targeted by the FBI in a mortgage fraud investigation, mentioned in this report by Seth Pollack at SB Nation's Bright Side of the Sun.

Replacing a great ambassador for the organization like Gentry with a coach like Hunter is taking a step back. 

It took the Suns three days to name Hunter the replacement, partially due to the fact that he was the least qualified of the Suns' assistant coaches for the position.

His appointment was so stunning, it caused longtime Suns coach and player Dan Majerle to leave as an assistant, detailed by Arizona Sports in this report. The AP's Bob Baum details that Suns' assistant Elston Turner will not return as well.

Hunter may develop into a good head coach, but the Suns bypassed two better candidates to give him the job.

Now there are signs that the team is starting to come apart, as word came of a heated argument between Blanks and center Jermaine O'Neal, detailed in this article from Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

The scary thing in looking at the Suns' remaining schedule is that it could get worse.

If you are a fan of the Suns, it's hard to feel good about the direction of the franchise.

The time has come to give Suns management a vote of "no confidence."

Information used from NBA, Yahoo Sports, Arizona Sports, Yahoo Sports/AP, SB Nation


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