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Ryan McDonough says Suns fired him over the phone

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PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 22: General Manager Ryan McDonough of the Phoenix Suns speaks during a press conference at Talking Stick Resort Arena on June 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The Suns fired general manager Ryan McDonough just nine days before the season.


Suns owner Robert Sarver provided some rationale, but not nearly enough to explain letting McDonough run nearly the entire offseason then canning him before seeing whether his plan worked.The timing was so strange.

McDonough expanded on his exit in an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN:

  • Nichols: “You were in the room when you got fired. So, I can ask someone who was in the room. What did they tell you? What was the reason they gave you?”
  • McDonough: “Well, I probably don’t want to go into specifics of the call, Rachel. It was, as I mentioned, it was our third preseason game.
  • Nichols: “It was over the phone?”
  • McDonough: “Yeah.”

McDonough didn’t complain, though he made a point of bringing up it was a call. Maybe that’s just because he cares about accuracy. Maybe that’s because he wanted to appeal to people who’d look down on the Suns for firing someone over the phone.

That’s not me. I’ve been called in to the office to get fired. As well-intentioned as my boss was, the extra commute was a waste of my time.

That said, if Sarver and McDonough were in the facility together, it should have happened in-person. That is the better approach when it doesn’t inconvenience the fired.

I just don’t know enough about the situation to say Sarver handled this wrong.

Besides, if you want to pillory Sarver, there’s already enough reasons.