It only took three games into the new NBA season and the Phoenix Suns have already announced a major shakeup in hopes of revitalizing their struggling franchise. According to a press release, the Phoenix Suns have relieved Earl Watson of his duties as head coach. Suns associate head coach Jay Triano will take over as interim head coach.
While many Suns fans knew going into the season that this year would likely not end with a playoff berth as there are a number of young players on the roster still trying to find their footing in the league, it is nevertheless a disappointing start. The Phoenix Suns are currently 0-3 and have lost their first three games by an NBA-record worst 92 points.
Watson was originally named interim head coach on February 1, 2016, and then was retained as the 17th head coach in franchise history on April 19, 2016. In parts of three seasons as head coach, Watson’s teams compiled a 33-85 (.280) record.
Jay Triano joined the Suns’ staff as associate head coach in the summer of 2016. Triano had previously served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2008-2011, compiling an 87-142 (.380) record as he was the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history.
In addition to his NBA coaching experience that includes six seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors and four seasons as an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers, Triano is head coach of the men’s national team for Canada Basketball.
There are a number of question marks for this young Suns team going forward and perhaps even more challenges but it will be interesting to see how the players react to the Watson news. Oftentimes, a change of pace and scenery can be good for a struggling organization, but it will take the leadership of players such as Devin Booker and Tyson Chandler to be leaders in the locker room to make the transition of Coach Triano a success.