alvin gentry

The Phoenix Suns and Alvin Gentry have mutually agreed to part ways after his five-plus seasons as head coach, the club announced today. An interim coach will be named in the next 24-48 hours.

“Alvin’s hard work, dedication and coaching ability over the last nine years have been an important part of the success of our organization,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “These partings are never easy but are, unfortunately, part of the business of professional sports. I wish nothing but the best for Alvin and his family.”

Said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby: “All of us, including Alvin, realized that the pieces weren’t fitting. To be sure, integrating nine new players was a challenge. Alvin is a good coach and a good person. I wish him the best. As for us, we will remain focused on moving this team forward.”

Gentry originally joined the Suns organization as an assistant coach prior to the 2004-05 season, and was named Phoenix’s interim head coach in Feb. 2009 before officially becoming the 14th head coach in franchise history on May 9, 2009. In five-plus seasons leading the Suns, Gentry’s teams compiled a 158-144 (.523) record, earning one playoff appearance and a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals. The Suns currently own a 13-28 (.317) record at the midway point of the 2012-13 season.

“After nine years with the Suns, the organization and I came to a mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Gentry said. “I have the utmost respect for (Suns Managing Partner) Robert (Sarver) and what he’s done with the organization. It’s unfortunate that I was unable to accomplish what I set out to do here.”

According to the Associated Press, “Gentry had coached the Suns since replacing the fired Terry Porter at the All-Star break of the 2008-09 season, compiling a 158-144 record. His 2010 squad, led by Steve Nash, went 54-28 and advanced to the Western Conference finals. But Nash left and the team underwent what has been a disastrous rebuilding effort. The Suns have lost 13 of 15 and four straight at home. Their 98-94 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday night snapped the Bucks’ 24-game losing streak in Phoenix. The Suns’ 13-28 record is the worst in the Western Conference and fourth-worst in the NBA. Only Cleveland, Charlotte and Washington are worse.”

More from the AP: “The rebuilt team lacked a go-to scorer and struggled with depth as Gentry continuously tried new lineups. He had said recently that the team, with the season obviously headed south, might simply turn to its younger players and look to the future.”

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