Earlier today, the Phoenix Suns announced that they had fired two assistant coaches off of Jeff Hornacek’s staff. The coaches fired are Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi, who had both been coaches in Phoenix since Hornacek joined the team before the 2013-14 season. The team is promoting former NBA player Earl Watson and also Nate Bjorkgren, who had previously been the coach of Phoenix’s NBDL affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam.
The move comes at a particularly tumultuous time in the Suns’ season. Starting power forward Markieff Morris is serving a two-game suspension for throwing a towel at Hornacek. And now, starting point guard Eric Bledsoe has torn a meniscus and is expected to miss about six weeks. This weekend, the Suns also lost at home to the Philadelphia 76ers, who had entered into that contest with a 1-30 record.
The Suns were one of the most surprising teams in the league in 2013-14, Hornacek’s first season: the team went 48-34 and finished on the cusp of the playoffs after preseason predictions assumed that the Suns would attempt to tank. In the two seasons since, the team has gone 51-63, including 4-11 this month.