Lindsey Hunter

The Phoenix Suns have named former NBA player and Suns Player Development Coordinator Lindsey Hunter the club’s interim head coach, the team announced today.

What this means is, for now, Hunter will act as the team’s head coach. The Suns could wind up keeping Hunter in charge if things go well, but otherwise, they will hire someone else to take the head coach position in a full-time, more long-term capacity.

A 17-year NBA veteran as a player, Hunter retired following the 2009-10 season after a successful career with Detroit (1993-00, 2003-08), Milwaukee (2000-01), the LA Lakers (2001-02), Toronto (2002-03) and Chicago (2008-10).  A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers (2001-02) and Pistons (2003-04), Hunter’s teams made 12 playoff appearances in 17 seasons overall.  Originally selected with the 10th overall pick of 1993 NBA Draft, the 6-2, 195-pound former guard averaged 8.5 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 937 career games (438 starts).

Hunter joined the Suns’ scouting department in 2012 and this season served as the coordinator of the organization’s newly-formed player development department.  He served in a similar post with the Chicago Bulls following his retirement.

According to Bob Baum of the Associated Press, “The Suns, with nine new players on their roster this season, have lost 13 of 15, including four straight at home, and at 13-28 have the worst record in the Western Conference. They don’t play again until Wednesday, when they face the Kings in Sacramento. Hunter’s home debut will come Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, who have the West’s second-best record at 32-9.”

Also from the Associated Press: “Gentry was Phoenix’s coach since Terry Porter was fired at the 2009 All-Star break. His time included a run to the 2010 Western Conference finals in 2010, his first full season as coach. But the team failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons. Then Steve Nash departed to the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Suns, under the direction of team president Lon Babby and general manager Lance Blanks, overhauled the roster.”