Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  38 responses

Alvin Gentry Promises to Make the Suns Fun to Watch Again

by Marcel Mutoni

Several hours after GM Steve Kerr walked into Terry Porter’s home, to deliver the news that – after only four months on the job – he was no longer gainfully employed by the Phoenix Suns, Alvin Gentry held his first press conference as the team’s new bench boss.

And ol’ Alvin had a message of hope for the media and Suns fans: We’re going to suddenly transform into the Suns you all once knew and loved.

The AP reports:

Terry Porter is out as coach of the Suns. The failed effort to tame the Suns’ offense went out the door with him.


“We are who we are and I think we have to go back to trying to establish a breakneck pace like we’ve had in the past,” Gentry said.

Of course, it’s important to remember that those famous “breakneck” Suns teams had the athletes necessary to make Mike D’Antoni’s dreams of endless fastbreaks a reality. Oh, and it was also a philosophy the team had adopted well before training camp kicked off.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Gentry.

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  • jay


  • jay

    now about that fastbreakstyle: it will make them better and more exciting. However they still have to deal with shaq or deal shaq, and they didn’t win a title with that style 2 years ago so there is no way in hell they will this year. Still I’m all for more 130-125 scorelines. Bring it!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Good luck.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’m not mad. The Nash-led Suns are not a contender anymore. Who wants to see a slow/boring team flame out in the first round? I’d much rather see a fast-paced team. They still won’t win but they can at least be entertaining. Changing the identity of the team to a defensive one whilst having two atrocious defenders leading the team (STAT and Nash) was doomed from the get-go.

  • Diggy

    Another black coach fired. Good luck Alvin, but we wont be seeing you in another four months!

  • https://twitter.com/Neuronautuk mat smith

    thanks god

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    How about promising them to a win?
    @diggy, it’s not about being black

  • Tombomb15

    Steve Kerr is a fun enough guy as a commentator,
    but possibly the worst GM in the shortest time EVER!!!! The Shaq trade was questionable, but the fact that you bring in a coach who has upset your young star…….thats just dumb!! Dont trade Amare! Get a coach who can do something positive with him!!!

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I’m just glad to see porter go jesus christ this is the year poor coaches. See: del negro also.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Wellll they still have Leandrinho, Barnes, J-Rich…

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    ALSO, I must admit I totally forgot the existence of Alvin Gentry until I wiki’ed him and realize that he’s only coached one +.500 season over his career. Given, a bunch of those years were with the Stackhouse-led Pistons or the kiddy Clippers of the early 2000s, but still. No disrespect meant to Alvin Gentry, but he’s not really proven yet with a big-time team, so Kerr picking him and expecting him to go up against the likes of Pop and Phil and Sloan… Gentry’s gonna get eaten up.

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  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Joel, who’s expecting him to go up to Pop, Phil and Sloan? His main task this year is to NOT coach. Let ‘em do their thang and fall back. + coaching is overrated (in the x and o sense). what you need is communicators that can get the best out of the players. doc was a genius in orlando when he made great strides with a young team (coy), an idiot in beantown when he basically had pierce and a bunch of d-leaguers, and then a mastermind again when he got the big 3. what has changed? his personnel, doc is still the same ol’ doc. good or bad.

  • slamfan4life

    damn…..looks like Amar’e wont run with Rose after all

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Gentry is a good assistant, nothing more. However, the players seem to listen to him and Porter may as well have been talking to himself. Couldn’t hurt, is what I am saying.

  • Todd Spehr

    We love you Alvin

  • Sparker

    nobody was playing with any heart. now they will. i think they’ll be quite a bit better

  • donlaker

    gentry – got the clippers to run, back in the day and players will listen to him, but dont just make the suns fun to watch, get them to the next round past the spurs,lakers,hornets,portland,jazz
    you can keep amare and use shaq when you need him.
    and take the chains off steve nash so he may run free again, jason richardson can also help if you can get the inside outside game with shaqtus el cactus

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    lies my teacher told me

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    I’m assuming Shaq is going to be able to play at this pace for extended minutes? Riiiiight.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Z & TAD: True. Porter’s coaching involved an attempt to move the Suns away from what they did best. Maybe just by setting them back to their running ways… that’ll bring success. You guys saw that gorgeous outlet pass Shaq threw during the ASG? I really miss seeing that. Shaq being in the game doesn’t NECESSARILY mean you have to slow it down tremendously.

  • http://www.bbl.org.uk Josh D

    If they want to run,then they have to trade Shaq, probably to get a quick, young, athletic big man.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Will they stop going to Shaq in the post and get back to that high screen/roll with Amare then? Diesel has been great but we’ll see how he responds to less than half the touched he’d been getting. I don’t see this working at all unless Shaq’s minutes get down to around the high 20s low 30s. Also, the Suns are without their best perimter defender in Raja Bell and will need to score EVEN MORE to compensate. I think they’ve already proven that a team must fully commit to SSOL for it to be effective. Barnes and Barbosa will need more minutes for this to work out. Basically they just need to move Shaq. The rest of their roster is pretty damn talented…

  • Ken

    Ten bucks says they’re not fun to watch again.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    the suns are a mess and also finished.

  • Caleb

    I’m with Z – coaching is overrated. Granted, coaches are of some importance and can make a difference, but its ultimately about the players. Everyone thought Doc Rivers was a horrible coach, but then suddenly he was a “great coach” when he had a team full of talent.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    the x’s and o’s may not matter as much during regular season, but during playoffs where little adjustments can win or lose games…
    i still can’t believe doc outcoached phil in last year’s Finals. that really was completely unacceptable.

  • Zig

    Now if the Suns could just fire the owner they would be set…

  • donlaker

    no fire steve kerr or demote him to hotel clerk
    at the phoenix hilton

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I think it’s not so much that Alvin will right the ship, but infact the players will do this themselves… Shaq is just happy again that he has general respect around the league from fellow players, so he wont rock the boat with a tempo change I’m sure – With Nash and Amare looking like they will be really satisfied with this change I really do see a BIG improvement over the next 30 games….I’m thinking they go 23-8 the rest of the way.

  • donlaker

    el fuego , go suns

  • http://www.nba.com iLL wiLL

    It won’t be the same. Sorry Alvin, nice try.

  • MalevolentKing7242

    the sun has set and supernovaed. Wonder whos the black hole?

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Well they just got 81 points at the half. It’s against the Clippers, but still.

  • Dark

    Wow did not expect things to turn this quickly. The Clips cure all ill.

  • shink

    I just want to see how the run-and-gun Suns with a *healthy* Shaq do against the spurs.

    The last time around Shaq wasn’t much help because of his condition, but now I’m curious how the team as a whole will play, now that they’ve gone back to a fastbreak offense.

    STAT better get more screen/pick-and-rolls!

  • elfboy

    It’s all a ploy — the purpose of run-n-gun with Alvin G now is to get those stats up, boost up trade offers. I think the Suns were shocked by how little they were getting for Amare. AMARE. One of the most athletic & talented 4′s in the league.

    This is all about putting them in the shop window, and hopefully convincing another team to trade talent and expiring contracts for these guys who’ll struggle with any system that requires them to defend. The Suns are all about cutting cost right now.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Promise delivered, I guess.