Suns make the right move hiring Earl Watson
Yesterday, the Phoenix Suns introduced Earl Watson as their head coach and officially removed the interim tag.
This move has been met with different vibes by fans and media.
There are those that expected the Suns to make a big splash in the coaching hire. Names like Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks and Jay Wright just to name a few. For some, picking Watson was settling.
Some say why pick a coach when you didn’t do any complete due diligence? No other coach was interviewed and the season just ended six days prior.
How did you settle on a guy that has less than 35 head coaching games under his belt?
All fair questions or statements but there are things that everyone against the Watson hire that they are forgetting.
First, not only did Watson win over his players but he got them to play hard for him day in and day out.
During exit interviews, every player I personally had a microphone in front of said the same thing, they wanted Watson as their head coach.
Mirza Teletovic was one of the most vocal stating that Watson coming back would make the Suns his top team and he would lean with returning to the team as he is unrestricted free agent.
He repeated that at the Watson introductory press conference as he talked about his teaching and his high character.
Point guard Ronnie Price said at the press conference that he was happy for Watson and that he deserved it.
Price talked about how Watson holds everyone accountable from veterans like himself and Tyson Chandler. He said that helps the younger players listen because they see how even veterans are held equally accountable
General Manager Ryan McDonough discounted the fact that due diligence was not done. He said the team has talked to several people since the move was made in February to fire Jeff Hornacek and install Watson as the interim head coach.
He stated many coaches came up during the process. Some established coaches and down to college coaches and some longtime assistant professional coaches, but Watson was their guy.
The Suns knew the position they were putting him in and he performed.
Watson said that he felt the players verbally was on board from the beginning and they followed that up with their actions.
Second (you probably thought I forgot the second reason), The Suns roster and record are not the most attractive to sell.
Their starting point guard, Eric Bledsoe, has missed several games over the past three years due to knee issues.
Their other guard, Brandon Knight has missed significant time due to miscellaneous injuries since they traded for him last season.
The best player on the team might by 19-year old Devin Booker, who has to still learn, grow and get stronger.
Add there are no defined superstars on this team and that plays into hiring a coach.
Usually when outside coaches come to a bad team they have to re-evaluate everything and they have to work on setting a new atmosphere.
On a team that won 24 games why start that process over, when you have someone in house that has already set the tone for the players and they are on the same page.
I like the hire. I think Watson was the right person for the job. He can coach this team but more importantly he can teach this team.
As he has said many times, “This is a process”, and players have to learn how to play, sacrifice and play together and the wins will take care of itself.
The Suns knew who they wanted and they did not waste time interviewing candidates for the sake of doing it.
So congratulations coach Watson, we are in for the process.