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Suns should stay far, far away from Spurs assistant James Borrego

Does anyone remember Lance Blanks and Earl Watson? The Spurs are trolling the Suns with this long-running joke.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know if James Borrego is a good coach or not. Just because he’s in the Spurs organization doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing.

Let’s face it, Suns fans.

If Borrego does make his way to Phoenix, then it’s only because the Spurs wanted to scuttle the Suns one more time.

Remember Lance Blanks?

NBA newbie Lon Babby was hired as President of Basketball Operations in July of 2010 to replace the unexpected departure of Steve Kerr.

Babby’s first order of business was to find a “basketball genius” to take over as GM.

He found Lance Blanks.

This story may not be entirely true (sorry if it’s not, Lon!), but it’s the story that’s gone around NBA circles for almost a decade. As the story goes, Lon — who had a long-standing relationship with the Spurs as Tim Duncan’s agent — consulted the Spurs on potential GM candidates. Dell Demps, Dennis Lindsey and Lance Blanks were current/former Spurs front office guys ready to take over their own teams. Blanks had been an assistant GM for the Spurs before going to the Cavaliers a few seasons before and, after Lindsey and Demps pulled out, Babby was told that Blanks would be a good hire.

He wasn’t.

While Blanks had a couple of quality individual deals, his tenure was an overall disaster. Remember when Blanks thought Zabian Dowdell was a better prospect than Goran Dragic, and later traded Goran AND a first round pick to Houston for Aaron Brooks? Or when Blanks thought Ray Felton was perfect placeholder at point guard to succeed Steve Nash until his prize draft pick Kendall Marshall was ready to start? Or when he laughed off Kawhi Leonard in pre-draft interviews for sweating too much? Or when he thought Michael Beasley was a cornerstone player? Or Eric Gordon?

Blanks’ perfect offseason in 2012 would have been a three-year lineup of Ray Felton, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola/Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat.

Blanks was also a social disaster. I mean, when Lon had to do all the public speaking HIMSELF you know Blanks had to be a special kind of weird. Remember when Blanks called Luke Zeller “the best shooter in the league outside of games”?

And then there’s Earl Watson.

Watson worked for a year in the Spurs organization after retiring from basketball in 2014, as an assistant coach with their then-D-league team the Toros. Reportedly, Watson came highly recommended by the Spurs.

I don’t need to remind you how that worked out.

And those, my friends, are the only prominent coach or front office persons the Suns have hired out of the Spurs organization since Robert Sarver took over in 2004, as far as I know.

Blanks and Watson.

On the other hand, the Suns have looked into and been rebuffed by Dell Demps (who chose the Pelicans, and is now in the second round of the playoffs), Dennis Lindsey (who chose the Jazz, and is knocking on that same door), Mike Budenholzer (who just dallied and rebuffed the Suns last week, with other plan in place), and probably a dozen more over the years.

Let’s face it.

If the Suns get the guy, he sucks.

Anyone good stays clear of the Suns and Robert Sarver.

Wouldn’t Monty Williams be a great hire for the Suns as coach? Williams has a special front office role that’s basically a holding pattern until he’s ready for the next great coaching opportunity. Or Ettore Messina, the Spurs associate head coach? Or the raw but talented Becky Hammon?

None of them are on the Suns radar, apparently.

Only James Borrego is.

Who the heck is James Borrego?

Borrego came to the Spurs three years ago after four rebuilding seasons in Orlando under Jacques Vaughn, the last 30 games of which he was the interim coach after Vaughn was fired. The post-Dwight, super-young Magic just weren’t progressing fast enough for the fanbase, so at the end of that season they turned the pups over to Scott Skiles (who won 35 games the next year, but was fired the year after).

Now the Suns might want Borrego as head coach?

Sure, maybe Borrego is great.

He’s had three molding seasons in San Antonio to see how to coach the right way.

He’s also coached a super-young roster and might have learned some lessons he can apply on a real multi-year contract to make it work this time.

But frankly, if he takes the Suns job we all know he will be a disaster. If he’s any good, he’ll pull his name out of consideration just when the Suns thought they had him locked up.

Because the Spurs wouldn’t let a good one go to the Suns.

Never forget Blanks and Watson. Never.

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