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Volume 26 No. 7
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Suns Owner Sarver Under Fire Again Following Another Coaching Change

Sarver has been criticized by media and fans for meddling too much in the Suns' basketball decisions
Photo: NBAE/getty images

The Suns fired coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday night after just one season in charge, and Kokoskov "never had" a chance under Owner Robert Sarver, who has "overseen the decimation of an organization," according to Kent Somers of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Suns "never won a championship under the stewardship" of Jerry Colangelo, but "at least he tried." Fans had "faith he knew what he was doing because Colangelo often spoke directly to fans to explain his vision and motivation." Somers: "So here the Suns are again, going through a spin cycle that never stops. Another year, another new coach. Another year, another high draft pick. Another year, another opportunity for coaches and free agents with options to view Phoenix as the least desirable destination in the NBA." All of the team's "dysfunction can be traced back to Sarver's desk." He "thinks he knows basketball," but he "doesn't." He "thinks he knows how to identify talent on the floor and the front office," but he "doesn't." Sarver had "one of his biggest wins as an owner" when the Phoenix City Council approved spending $150M of tax money to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena, but it was "met with clenched teeth." If Sarver wanted to "sincerely thank the City Council and Phoenix voters, he would end his meddling in basketball decisions" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/24).

NO CLEAR PLAN: ESPN's Rachel Nichols said the management team in charge of running the Suns has "just been a revolving door." She said of the coach and GM positions, "They're changing both seats every five minutes." ESPN's Richard Jefferson said the Suns, Knicks and Lakers are "great franchises that are really struggling and it's not because lack of free agents or lack of talent." Jefferson: "It's literally the structure from the bottom all the way up to the top. That is what is making these franchises struggle" ("The Jump," ESPN, 4/23). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Sarver is "lucky" Knicks Owner James Dolan is "in the league or everybody would look at him" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/23). NBA TV's Tas Melas said the Suns firing Kokoskov is "just what they do." NBA TV's Leigh Ellis added the Suns are a "crazy, disorganized" organization. Melas said there is a "reason that they continuously hire coaches with no experience," which is because "they're cheap" ("The Starters," NBA TV, 4/23). ESPN Radio's Dan Le Batard said the Suns "have got one of the worst remaining owners in sports" now that former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is gone ("The Dan Le Batard Show," ESPNews, 4/23).