The Phoenix Suns D-League affiliate, Bakersfield Jam, are holding their annual tryouts next weekend. Anyone can try out. Even you.
The D-league affiliate for the Phoenix Suns will be holding open tryouts for their team on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 at the Dignity Health Event Center in Bakersfield, CA.
The two days are split and players will select which day to attend when registering. Check-in and registration will begin on those days at 8 a.m. and the trouts will start at 9 a.m.
There is limited space so you should look towards early registration. Those forms should be submitted to the Jam by September 22 (Tuesday) along with a $150 non-refundable participation fee. If you register after the deadline or the day-of, you will be charged $200.
This gives you the chance to show off your skill in front of Phoenix Suns personnel and get a D-League contract for the 2015-2016 season.
Check out one of our writers, watdogg, who tried out years ago for the Iowa Energy.
For registration you can go to bakersfieldjam.com or call 661-615-6550
If you want to minimize the drama around your team, you don't come to training camp with a disgruntled middling player, And you don't make your coach work on a lame duck contract. Get 'er done, Suns!
"Just like any other player getting towards the end of their contract," Hornacek said to Bright Side. "You go out there and do your best and these things tend to take care of themselves with time. So that's the way we approach it."
It's not entirely clear if by "we" he meant he and his wife Stacy or he and his assistant coaches, and I didn't have the presence of mind to ask the clarifying question. Lead assistants Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi have both been with Hornacek the last two years, and may also be on contracts that end next summer.
The Suns have a team option on the 2016-17 season, but have not yet exercised that option to give Hornacek some breathing room entering the season.
It's a mystery why the Suns have not extended Hornacek and his staff yet, unless they want a cheap scapegoat if Suns' fortunes don't turn around quickly this year. The Suns allowed Alvin Gentry to coach into his final year in 2012-13, making the separation in January easy to swallow when the season went south. Prior to Gentry, the Suns had to eat nearly $6 million of Terry Porter's $7.5 million, three contract when they fired him after just 51 games.
On the other hand, the team's architect General Manager Ryan McDonough and his assistants are under multi-year contracts. Lon Babby, at his own request, took a step back to Senior Advisor.
A query to Managing Partner Robert Sarver last week about Hornacek's contract was met with a quick comment that he doesn't negotiate in public. A conversation on this topic earlier this summer was nixed in the same way. Sarver explained how Hornacek's salary - one of the lowest in the league - was appropriately commensurate with his experience, but did not broach the topic of extensions.
Currently, Hornacek is tied with four other inexperienced coaches at $2 million per year, the lowest head coaching salary in the entire league. Each of the "$2 million club" were hired in the same offseason. Hornacek, Brett Brown, Mike Budenholzer, Steve Clifford and Dave Joerger were all hired in the summer of 2013.
Each of the "$2 million club" was promoted to their first-ever head coaching gig from an assistant position. Even Miami's Eric Spoelstra and Indiana's Frank Vogel, by now surely on their second contracts after getting their first gig like these guys, aren't rolling in the dough despite deep playoff success. Just like in any business, those you promote are the ones to whom you give the least amount of money.
Sarver explained to me that there are three tiers of coaches (or coaching salaries) in the NBA, and that those with no prior head coaching experience were at the entry level of the pay scale. Next higher are college and international head coaches with postseason experience (like Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan), and then NBA head coaching re-hires (like Alvin Gentry and George Karl). Even among the head coaching re-hires, the pay scale is correlative of playoff success.
Exceptions to these rules appear to include just-retired players, like Jason Kidd ($2.5 million per year) and Derek Fisher ($5 million per year), and guys hired out of press booths, like Steve Kerr ($5 million per year). But those are more the exception than the rule.
Let's take a layman's look at Hornacek's pro head coaching resume.
Hornacek, a head coach with just two years NBA coaching experience and no playoff appearances, does not appear to be deserving of huge raise yet. He's not really in the $5-10 million range in salary demands.
However, guaranteeing his 2016-17 year at the low, low rate he's currently being paid seems to be the right thing to do. It's only right to give your hand-picked head coach the same security you gave the front office that built the star-less team he's supposed to coach. He wasn't any more the problem last season than they were.
Don't make him a lame duck coach, easy to axe, Ryan and Robert!
Give him the security of two seasons, no matter what might happen this year.