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Earl Watson was fired for “Not Losing Right”

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From “Strategic Resting” to “Competitive Losing”, Watson just never seemed like a good fit with the Suns

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets
Don’t worry. You’ll be next.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Let's set aside for a moment that former Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson was probably the worst X's and O's coach in the NBA.

Let's not revel in the fact that we'll no longer have to choke down our vomit while Earl sputters out platitude after platitude.

Let's not criticize him for stymieing the growth of the bevy of diaper dandies that GM Ryan "Teflon" McDonough has assembled.

Because Earl Watson wasn't fired for any of those reasons.

The real reason Watson was fired is because he just wasn't losing "right."

After all, the mandate from the organization was to lose. The mandate was #TheTimeline.

To be fair to Watson, he was never supposed to keep this job. He was cut off at the knees. He may have succeeded in losing more competitively if it wasn't decreed that he implement a "Strategic Resting" policy.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, "General manager Ryan McDonough and Watson were often at odds in their short partnership, league sources told ESPN."

Yeah... because Ryan McDonough wanted to lose on purpose and Earl Watson didn't.

And the Suns are keeping the GM and firing the head coach?

I think my head might explode.

Instead of being allowed to try to win basketball games, Watson was tasked with trying a new strategy... "Competitive Losing."

He was supposed to educe consistent effort from players who were fully aware of the fact that management was setting them up to fail. A management group that openly admitted to brazen tanking. A group that made absolutely zero effort to improve a 24 win team over the summer.

At media day Ryan McDonough was even quite comfortable discussing that "Strategic Resting" was still completely on the table for the 2017-18 season.

Now we find out that Eric Bledsoe wants out of Phoenix. Is anyone surprised? I don't even want to watch the Suns play, so how can I expect someone to actually want to play for them?

There have been multiple seasons during my years of watching Suns basketball where I literally watched every... single... game. I rearranged my schedule around the Suns’ schedule. Now I don't even care to watch the team play. It's not entertaining. I can think of plenty of other things more worthy of my time and that I get more enjoyment out of... like picking up dog poop in my backyard.

I saw somebody mention that a sad twist to this embarrassing plot is that there is now an entire generation of young people growing up that have no idea what it's like to watch the Suns play winning basketball. Kids in their teens only know darkness and despair.

The Suns are on their way to alienating themselves from an entire generation of fans. Let that settle in.

And it's all Earl Watson's fault.

Just like it's Watson's fault that he can't motivate players on a team that has been sabotaged into losing. It's Watson's fault that he can't keep players engaged when they know the organization... wants ... them... to ... lose.

Or maybe Earl is just the patsy (well obviously he is).

The fall guy for quite possibly the worst GM in Suns’ history. Yes, that includes Lance Blanks.

Here we are with McDonough's handpicked roster and handpicked head coach... mired in the worst stretch of basketball in franchise history.

His handpicked roster that consists of exactly one top 50 NBA player (Bledsoe)... who has publicly declared that he wants to be traded.

Of course public trade demands are kind of McDonough's thing... that and creating ill will with players.

From Markieff Morris to Goran Dragic to Channing Frye to Isaiah Thomas to Eric Bledsoe... nobody seems to leave Phoenix on very good terms.

Which oddly enough is a bit of a conundrum. If you were a player wouldn't you be ecstatic to jump out of this burning house?

But what about #TheTimeline?

Well, if you take away Devin Booker... who miiiiiight be a future All-Star... there is absolutely no reason to think this team is ever on its way to contending for a championship. So this could steamroll into a decade with no end in sight. A decade with no playoffs. A decade.

But once again, Watson was the problem.

Given, Watson was part of the problem, but he was never THE problem.

And now he's gone because instead of losing by 5 he was losing by 50. These last few seasons were MUCH more watchable than this three game suckfest.

Or not.

So Watson was set up to fail... and he did.

Now the Suns will need a new coach... after interim Jay Triano fails.

I'm sure a list of qualified candidates will line up considering the first qualification for the job is "Competitive Losing."

This situation is a joke.

And not a funny one.

What the franchise really needs is the nuclear option. A complete reset.

I've been predicting the demise of this franchise/regime/strategy for years now. I've received my share of criticism for being too "negative" and not "looking on the bright side."

I sure feel like a realist today.

So Watson is out.

That should solve everything.

Or it should solve nothing.

Watson was never the cause of the sickness.

He was a symptom.

And he may have been a terrible coach, but he fit right in.