The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a very busy, very important, and an unequivocally cataclysmic period in the franchise's history. So, right on cue here come the Bright Siders to evaluate the process.
There will likely be no consensus here, partially because of the imbalance of opinions here is the reason why this staff continues to put out quality, timely, and entertaining content daily.
What do we think of the hiring of the 17th coach in franchise history? Well, we are glad you asked:
1) Be: What do you think of Jeff Hornacek as the Head Coach?
Dave King: I like the hiring from a PR standpoint and certainly from a forward-thinking standpoint. The Suns are in for a rebuild, so why not have a guy in place that everyone likes to talk to, and would be loved in the valley on name alone. He will get a long, long leash from fans and media.
Jacob Padilla: At this stage, I'm somewhat indifferent. I wasn't around to see him as a player, so don't have that attachment. I like the idea of getting back to the team's successful roots, though, and the move is getting rave reviews.
Jim Coughenour: I really like the hire. If McMiracle is an up and coming GM, then Hornacek fits the same model as a coach. People around the league are overwhelmingly effusive in their praise of his abilities and potential. If he hadn't stepped back to spend time with his family (which is another plus to me) he would have already been a head coach before now.
Kris Habbas: The idea of Hornacek as a PR move and a head coach in general is intriguing even as the announcement is fresh off the presses. He fits the need as a young coach that can connect with the soon to be young core and gives the team a personality for the fans (and media) to believe in.
Sean Sullivan: Like it. Very intelligent guy by all accounts, and I like the idea of keeping it in the family during our rebuild. Why not?
2) Should the team have brought in a coach with experience?
JP: Not necessarily. I was in favor of hiring an up-and-coming assistant rather than going with a retread. He may not have been the most qualified of those assistants, but let's give him a chance to prove himself.
JC: Head coaching experience was a non-factor, or maybe even a deterrent. Just because Jeff is a novice doesn't preclude him from excelling in his new capacity. Every head coach in the league was a first time head coach at some point.
KH: Could they have, sure, but how have retread coaches worked for the rest of the league? Charlotte, anyone? This was the right move.
SS: Our choices were limited in this regard anyway, it's not like we were going to get Doc Rivers. Horny is as good a choice as any.
DK: Head coaching experience? Probably not. We already had Alvin, who played his best guys to the detriment of player development and youth movement. The Suns need a fresh face who is patient and will learn along with the team.
3) Obviously they need to make this hire soon versus later, but was this too soon? Defend your stance?
JC: I already stated that I wanted the team to interview Hornacek. Apparently Jeff killed the interview. If the powers that be felt he was the man for the job there's no reason to let him leave and risk him taking a head coaching job with another team with a vacated position. Same dynamic with free agent players... don't let them leave without signing the contract.
KH: There are two scenarios that I am envisioning with this hire. One, Hornacek was on the short list as a Top Candidate and he absolutely killed the interview. In that case they couldn't let him go elsewhere. Two, the team was looking for a PR move that would appease the fans while impatiently hiring the first legit candidate they spoke to. Cross your fingers for Scenario One!
SS: Maybe. My only gripe is we didn't wait until after the other coaching candidates were freed up. But if Horny was their guy, I'm glad they got him.
DK: That's my only beef with this hire so soon. The Suns should have at least interviewed more people in order to make the best possible selection. They cut the process short, and so no one knows if Hornacek would have beaten everyone out.
JP: You always want to see a team do its due diligence, but if they were sold on Hornacek being the guy then I'm glad they made it official. Now they can move forward and get ready for the next step: the draft.
4) The first word that comes to mind when you think of this hire? Now, elaborate.
KH: Retro... The team tried Porter, Gentry, and Hunter before going back to the Suns Well of talent digging out Hornacek. If he can bring back the old school jersey's full-time then maybe it will be a double win for the franchise as they push forward into the future.
SS: Intelligent. Hornacek strikes me as a McDonough type of guy, whether or not he was actually his hire. I think he'll mesh well with our new GM.
DK: PR, baby! And there's nothing wrong with that. JC did it four different times - hiring a former player to help transition into a new era/team without losing the fanbase.
JP: Whoa. I was away from the Internet this weekend and just found out about it Sunday night, so it was a bit of a surprise.
JC: Circular. When Hornacek was traded to the 76ers for Charles Barkley it was bittersweet. I was both elated about the new addition and crestfallen about the subtraction (mainly Hornacek... not Tim Perry or Andrew Lang so much). Now Jeff has the chance to return and entrench himself even deeper in the Phoenix Suns' legacy. It illustrates the wisdom shown by not burning bridges (Cough! Blanks!). It will also be nice to see him back on the Suns' bench after finishing his career with the Jazz.
5) So, what are the expectations of Hornacek as a first year head coach for you?
SS: Tempered. Even Phil Jackson couldn't sniff .500 with this squad. If Horny can show some progress while giving this team an identity then I think that's all we should hope for this season.
DK: Make fans happy without having to win games. Be a pleasure to talk to, give fans signs of hope. Hornacek will get a long, long leash in the valley, something Babby has not enjoyed since he signed on.
JP: I expect to see some semblance of a gameplan on both ends (I didn't see one last year). I want to see him get his system in place and the players buying into it. Development from the young players would be nice too.
JC: I have no expectations for the upcoming season, so anything positive will be a pleasant surprise. I give McMiracle and Hornacek a hall pass for the 2013-14 season. The 2014-15 season is where I will expect to see their purview over the franchise paying dividends.
KH: There are no expectations other than progression. That should be the expectation of the entire fan-base for this upcoming season of Suns basketball. Some progression in the teams character, effort, and overall skill development will speak to the coaching abilities of Hornacek this season.
BONUS: Dan Majerle, bring him back as an assistant to get the band back together?
DK: No on Majerle. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Eddie Johnson on the sidelines.
JP: I'd love to have Thunder Dan back in the fold, but with him recently getting a new job and the circumstances of his departure, I don't think it's in the cards.
JC: I wouldn't be diametrically opposed to Majerle returning in an assistant role, but I think that bridge got Blanked and is still under repair. I don't foresee Dan bailing on his new commitment the first time the wind changes. I would surmise that Hornacek already has a good idea of who he wants to bring on (or is already in place) and that it was discussed as part of his interview.
KH: This cannot be Hornacek's team with Dan on the bench. It is that simple. Hornacek got his opportunity on his own and Dan will do the same, on his own.
SS: Nope, that ship has sailed. Go Antelopes!