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Suns name Earl Watson as interim head coach

Earl Watson

Rocky Widner

Earl Watson — the former NBA player who wanted to be a head coach even as his on-court career was winding down — is getting his chance.

He will be the interim coach for the Phoenix Suns replacing the fired Jeff Hornacek, something first reported by Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports and since confirmed by the team.

The Suns reached out to Steve Nash, but he wasn’t interested in coaching (as a front office person... maybe).

Watson spent a season as an assistant coach with the Austin Spurs in the D-League, then moved onto Hornacek’s staff this season, but near the end of the bench. He was promoted when the Suns fired Hornacek’s two lead assistants just after Christmas (which was the writing on the Wall for Hornacek).

Watson is going to struggle to win games with this roster, which will be without their best playmaker and biggest star in Eric Bledsoe. Brandon Knight (who also has missed time recently with injuries) runs the show, Markieff Morris has played better of late but is not near what was expected and still wants out of Phoenix, Tyson Chandler has been a disappointment, and then there are some decent role players such as T.J. Warren, Devin Booker, and Mirza Teletovic. There is no cohesion or obvious style the roster is designed to play, Watson will just have to do his best.

Watson hired Rich Paul as an agent. Rumors are that the Suns in the long term will consider Watson but look at guys such as Luke Walton and Mike D’Antoni as well.