As you can tell from the BSotS coverage all week, the Phoenix Suns have managed to get themselves into the news on almost an hourly basis since their last game 6 days ago.
An unusual break in games was filled to the brim with controversy, starting with the ouster of head coach Alvin Gentry, to naming an interim coach (Lindsey Hunter) who had never coached on any level in any capacity before, to mutiny amongst the assistant coaching staff, to rumors of fights amongst players and front office folks, to the new head coach's inability to even run a practice yet, to a reminder of an ongoing FBI investigation against the aforementioned head coach and zero votes of confidence on a national scale for the latest Suns moves.
What could possibly happen today to top the last 6 days of angst? Oh yeah, it's game day!
The new coaching staff, taking over what was already the worst team in the West, takes on the no-longer-worst-in-West Sacramento Kings in a road game tonight that starts the second half of the Suns 2012-13 schedule.
Truly, this is must-see TV.
How will Lindsey Hunter manage the game? Will he remember that it's his job to call timeouts and execute substitutions, or will he turn to new lead assistant Igor Kokoskov or WNBA head coach Corey Gaines for instructions? Who else will be on the bench alongside him?
Will he coach to win, or coach to develop?
Who will play minutes? Will he stay with the veterans on the roster? Or go with more minutes for youngsters and big offseason acquisitions brought in by the front office, including Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall (Diante Garrett, who is outplaying Marshall on the Bakersfield Jam, is still down in the D-league)?
Of the players who get on the floor, how will they respond to this change? How will they respond to this coach?
Is he an angry, in your face, coach? Or will he be a deer in the headlights?
At the least, he is setting a new tone of working their butts off.
"I know these practices are a lot longer than they are accustomed to," Hunter said after practice on Tuesday. "but we've got a lot to get accomplished. We have to work until we can't forget what we're supposed to do, not until we get it. We have to work until we can't forget it."
"I would definitely describe it as interesting," Dudley said of the change. "I would say shock. We've had a lot of changes these last couple of days. But it just shows what happens when you're not winning games."
It is always darkest before the dawn, and while it may seem pretty darn dark right now we have no idea how much darker it's going to get before the sun rises on that horizon.
This train wreck may just be getting started.
Oh yeah, the Sacramento Kings have their own problems, with the owners agreeing over the weekends to sell their majority share in the team to a Seattle investor. Mayor Kevin Johnson is trying once again to put together a last-second investment group to buy the team but its looking bleak.
Will the Kings play hard, trying to prove something to the NBA? Will fans come in raucous and ready to roll to prove something too?
Must-see TV indeed.
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013, 8:00 PM MST
Sleep Train Arena
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