The Phoenix Suns announced today that assistant coach Earl Watson is the 17th head coach in franchise history. Watson replaces the recently ousted Jeff Hornacek on an interim basis.
Will Watson fare any better than Hornacek with Eric Bledsoe sidelined for the remainder of the season and a rash of other injuries/dysfunction leaving the roster in turmoil? Watson has very little coaching experience on which to base any kind of prediction. He has exactly one season as an assistant coach for the NBA D-League Austin Spurs and half a season as an assistant coach on the Phoenix Suns on his resume. Prior to coaching, he was a journeyman guard in the NBA playing for 6 different teams in his 14 year career.
Below is the full press release from the Phoenix Suns.
The Phoenix Suns have named assistant coach and former NBA player Earl Watson interim head coach, the team announced today.
Now the 17th head coach in franchise history, Watson joined the Suns as an assistant coach this past offseason after working last season as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League. Watson became a coach following a 13-year NBA career as a point guard in which he appeared in 878 career games with Seattle/Oklahoma City, Memphis, Denver, Indiana, Utah and Portland from 2001-2014. Watson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals for his career, posting highs of 10.7 points and 6.8 assists with the SuperSonics in 2007-08. Watson played for three NBA Coach of the Year Award winners throughout his 13-year career (Hubie Brown, George Karl, Scott Brooks), as well as Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan.
Prior to being selected 40th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Kansas City, Kan. native was a four-year starter at UCLA, helping guide the Bruins to three Sweet 16 appearances and earning All-Pac-10 First Team honors in 2000-01.