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Suns dump Jeff Hornacek because someone has to go

The Phoenix Suns did the inevitable and relieved head coach Jeff Hornacek from his job and, perhaps, from his misery.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnarowki of The Vertical and Yahoo Sports is reporting the Phoenix Suns have fired Head Coach Jeff Hornacek after returning late at night from yet another road loss. Welcome home, Jeff. We know you are missing all your best players but here's your pink slip. Have a good night!

The team is 14-35 and with no contract beyond this season the decision seemed somewhat predetermined. It was only a matter of when and now we have that answer.

According to the Woj report, either Corey Gaines, Earl Watson or Nate Bjorkgren will be elevated from the bench to serve as interim head coach. You will recall that management already relieved the team of its two more senior assistant coaches because that always works.

Gaines has six years head coaching experience and even won a ring with the Phoenix Mercury and has been on the Suns bench since 2013. Watson last played in the league in 2014 and since has been an assistant coach with one year in the D-league and half a season in Phoenix. Bjorkgren collected a 126-74 record in four years as a D-league head coach. He joined the Suns bench this season.

I'm not around the team. I don't know if a better coach could have salvaged the unhappy Markieff Morris situation the front office handed him or otherwise done better without Eric Bledsoe (knee) and more recently without point guards Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price. They clearly think so or, as is often the case in sports, they took action to mollify season ticket holders, sponsors, and the owner's buddies.

The team obviously thought Hornacek wasn't the guy they wanted beyond this lost season. He was hired in 2013 after the Suns replaced Alvin Gentry. (We'll pretend the Lindsey Hunter never happened because it's best that way.)

At some point, this team will need to stop cycling through coaches and find someone that they trust through both ups and downs. That won't be Coach Jeff.

It might be worth noting this is just one report, albeit from the best and most reliable NBA reporter when it comes to breaking news. I'd expect an official press release later in the day.

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