Golden State head coach Steve Kerr reportedly has hired Alvin Gentry as his lead assistant. Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports the Warriors doubled Gentry's pay to get him to leave the Clippers.

You can't always be on top. Everyone falls down at some point. The trick is bouncing back up.

The Phoenix Suns franchise has the 4th-highest winning percentage in NBA history, made the playoffs two-thirds of the time, and participated in two NBA Finals series (without a ring). But there are always dark days in every franchise's history.

The 60s saw the Suns lose the coin flip, settling for Neal Walk instead of Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar to you younguns). The 80s was a terrible time, rife with drug scandal and high picks that did not pan out as planned.

And now the early 20-teens was awful. No one wanted it to be awful. The Suns had just reached the Western Conference Finals for the 3rd time in 6 seasons. Bellies were fat. Noses in the clouds. People took winning for granted and decided that cutting corners here and there wouldn't make a difference on the bottom line.

Rumor had it that the wunderkind GM/President Steve Kerr and managing partner Robert Sarver had a disagreement over pay for the front office staff. Rumor said that while Kerr wanted to stay as GM beyond the day Amare Stoudemire signed a max offer with another team, managing partner Sarver didn't want to give him a raise. Rumor tacked on the nugget that Kerr wanted raises for the entire staff, and again Sarver refused.

Rumor's a cool cat, by the way. He's always got a juicy story to tell, as long as you listen close enough because his voice is always just a little too low to hear everything clearly. And he rarely repeats himself, always moving on to the next juicy story.

Whatever happened in the shadow of the Western Conference Finals, Kerr was suddenly gone. So was his Assistant GM David Griffin. And within two years, so were most of the front office staff who worked for them, including Assistant Director of Basketball Ops Amin Elhassan and President Rick Welts, who took care of the business side of the house.

The old regime and the new regime just didn't get along, no matter how hard anyone tried. Rumor said that they didn't try too hard, but his older brother Fact never corroborated the story.

Fret not, Suns fans. The front office that brought you the WCF in 2010 has landed quite nicely on their feet in other venues, as has the head coach who won 10 playoff games that year after winning 54 regular season games.

First, Rick Welts went to Golden State to hold a similar position while Kerr went into the broadcast booth for probably better pay and definitely fewer hours and headaches. Asst GM Griffin took a similar position in Cleveland to fill the spot vacated by L____ Bl____.

Gang back together

Two weeks ago, after four years back in the broadcast booth for TNT, former GM/President Steve Kerr (who had never previously held a front office position in basketball) has now been named the head coach of the very talented Golden State Warriors, despite never coaching a single game of basketball in his life.

And just like in the broadcast booth, Kerr does not have to worry about salary demands. Kerr is being paid $5 million a year to learn NBA coaching on the fly. Regardless of the money committed to Kerr, this becoming a head coach despite never walking a sideline thing is hit-and-miss. It worked for Mark Jackson, but failed for Lindsey Hunter.

But Kerr is such a smart guy, he's bound to succeed. This is the guy who turned average (by NBA standards) athleticism into a decade-plus NBA career as a marksman who helped teams win 5 championships. Then he excelled in the broadcast booth, making enough money to become part-owner of the Suns. Then he slipped right into a GM/President position and, after a fitful start, helped the Suns reach one more apex before the team fell apart.

And then, to prove his intelligence more than anything to date, he stepped off the front line of the Suns just before they approached to cliff.

Alvin Gentry stayed behind, remaining the Suns coach for another two and a half seasons - a full 41 games longer than Steve Nash lasted.

But Gentry has landed quite cleanly on his feet as well. He spent has season as the lead assistant for Doc Rivers' Los Angeles Clippers. And now, he's reunited with Kerr in Golden State.

Gentry, who spent last season on Doc Rivers' staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, has agreed in principle to a three-year deal with the Warriors, a source said. The Warriors had to come close to doubling Gentry's salary with the Clippers to convince him to leave a similar position with their Pacific Division rival, a source said. Gentry previously worked under Kerr, a former Phoenix Suns executive, in Phoenix and is the first addition to Kerr's staff.

--Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports

Not a bad gig if you can get it. You get tons of money but don't have to talk to the media or take the blame if anything goes wrong.

For sure, Steve Kerr made a very smart hire as his wingman. He's never roamed a sideline. But he's got a great friend and colleague showing him how to do it.

No word yet, but it's not likely they bring back Lindsey Hunter to the staff. Hunter had joined Mark Jackson last summer after lasting only 41 games as the Suns coach.

If you're counting, that's Welts, Kerr and Gentry all landing Golden State within four years of being together in Phoenix.

Next up?

Who's next on the Phoenix-to-Golden State bandwagon?

Kerr has already taken Suns staffer Nick U'ren with him to be a special assistant related to video work.

While most of the big-name folks from Kerr's regime have already moved on from Phoenix, a lot of the 'out of the spotlight' folks are still around. Don't be surprised if a few more names matriculate to Oakland.

I will be watching a couple of names though, to see if they are soon to roam the sideline with Kerr and Gentry.

David Griffin has since been elevated to GM in Cleveland, just in time to take his 3rd #1 overall pick in 4 years. Sounds great, right? Except that his former boss was just fired for drafting Anthony Bennett #1 last year, and this year he just witnessed the only real #1 candidate break his foot yesterday. If this pick doesn't work out, his franchise player might bolt in a year. Griffin might want to check his other options soon.

And then there's friend of BSotS Smin Elhassan. Kerr and Griffin helped shape Amin's career in the front office, only to leave Amin behind when they bolted. Amin landed on his feet with ESPN, but will he be asked to join Kerr and Friends in Golden State?

Does Amin even want the job, given that he he'd likely have to wear a tie every day and swear off twitter? Amin lives on twitter. That's like asking a guy to stop having sex for several years. You think "I can do it if the money's right" but that's before you've actually sworn off it. Amin would less of a man without twitter. He'd be 'min'. Don't do it, Amin! Don't drop the 'A'!

Oh, and by the way, I wonder how great those former Phoenicians will feel when they lose out on Kevin Love to the Suns in the next few weeks. Kinda bittersweet, I imagine.

Reports of Kevin Love trade rumors between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors appear to be premature. And outline of a trade goes like so: the T-Wolves receive Klay Thompson and...

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If you want a scorer off the bench to eventually supplant Gerald Green, then P.J. Hairston is your man. The Phoenix Suns may just need that kind of player.

P.J. Hairston

School: D-League (formerly UNC)

Position: Shooting Guard

Mock Draft Projections: - 31, Draft Express - 22, ESPN - 24, NBA Draft Insider - 23

Stats (D-League)

  • PPG: 21.8
  • Rebounds: 3.5
  • Assists: 0.8
  • FG%: 45.3%
  • 3-pt FG%: 35.8%


  • Height: 6' 4.25" without shoes, 6' 5.5" with shoes
  • Weight: 229 pounds
  • Age: 21
  • Wingspan: 6' 9"
  • Standing Reach: 8' 5"

Combine Numbers

  • Maximum Vertical Leap: 37"
  • Lane Agility: 11.12 sec (6th among SG that tested)
  • 3/4 Court Sprint: 3.18 sec (8th among SG that tested)

Expert Analysis


Texas Legends shooting guard P.J. Hariston's profile offers a fairly unique glimpse into the style of play in the NBADL on paper as well as how quickly he adapted and thrived playing in it.

The 2nd highest volume offensive player in this group averaging 19.7 possessions per-game, Hairston also ranks as the 3rd most efficient scorer in this group averaging 1.108 points per possession overall. He turned the ball over just 9% of the time in a catch and shoot heavy role, the lowest rate of any player in this group. The former UNC standout did a significant amount of his damage in transition with a 2nd ranked 27.9% of his possessions coming on the break where he scored a 2nd ranked 1.27 points per possession.

In the half court, the majority of Hairston's possessions came in spot up situations, as he used a sample high 5.4 spot-up possessions per-game. With just 6.3% of his possessions coming on the pick and roll and 6.9% coming in isolation situations, both of which rank in the bottom-3 among players in this group, Hairston exploited the pace and spacing of the D-League to rank among its top scorers.

Almost half of Hairston's possessions were catch and shoot jump shot, more than any player in this group. Though he made just 34.3% of those attempts, he made 47.6% of his pull-up jump shots on limited attempts, ranking above average in perimeter scoring efficiency overall. Ranking just average as a finisher, Hairston's huge role and at times explosive shooting in the NBADL gives teams a very accurate gauge of what he'll bring to the table as a rookie.


Hairston is one of the few prospects in this draft who looks ready to come in and play a role in the NBA right away. His thick, strong build (230 pounds) is a major reason why he was able to adjust to the D-League so quickly, averaging 27 points per-40 minutes, as his shooting ability and aggressive style of play are tailor made for the NBA.

Richard Harris -

NBA Comparison: Ricardo Ledo/Isaiah Rider

Notes: Hairston had one standout season at North Carolina (2012-13), leading the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game and finishing with 89 three-pointers, the second-most in a season by a Tar Heel. He made nearly 40 percent of his three-point attempts that season ... This past season, he finished fourth in the D-league in scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game, playing for Texas. He made 36 percent of his three pointers and 87 percent of his free throws ... Disappointed in the shooting drills at the NBA Combine, with some observers commenting on his casual approach ... Hairston was dismissed from UNC due to a series of off-court incidents. Between May and July of 2013, he was twice cited for speeding, citied once for driving without a license, and charged with possession of marijuana. A gun was also found outside his rental car. To make matters worse, on two of the occasions, he was driving cars leased by a known felon, which prompted the NCAA to launch an investigation into improper benefits.

Outlook: Assuming that he has learned from his mistakes, Hairston should at least enjoy an NBA career as a scorer/3-point specialist off the bench ... If he improves his overall effort and play on the defensive end, his prospects would be much brighter, though it is very doubtful that he would ever become an All-Star-level player due to his average athletic ability ... A borderline first-round selection who will likely fall into the second due to his past indiscretions ...

My Take

Hairston has great size for a shooting guard and pretty good agility. He can score, score, score and showed that in the D-League in a big way.

If you're looking for a three-point shooter who be a microwave off the bench, go for PJ. Hairston. But if you're looking for more than that, like defense for example, then look somewhere else.

I wrote on Sunday how Hairston compares to the other big name shooting guards Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris, per

  • Hairston #1 in points per 40 min; Stauskas/Harris in middle of pack
  • Hairston #3 in 3-pt attempts per 40 min; Harris top 1/3, Stauskas middle of pack
  • Hairston #3 in 3-pt per FGA; Harris top 1/3, Stauskas middle of pack
  • Hairston #6 in Free throw attempts (FTA) per 40; Stauskas #7, Harris bottom half
  • Stauskas #3 in FTA/possession; Hairston and Harris middle of pack
  • Stauskas #2 in True Shooting %; Hairston #6, Harris middle
  • Stauskas #6 in in Assists/40; Harris #8, Hairston dead last
  • Stauskas, Harris and P.J. all middle of pack in Turnovers/40
  • Stauskas #3 in Pure Point Ratio (scoring + assists - turnovers); Harris #7, Hairston 2nd to last
  • Stauskas #6 in PER; Harris #8, Hairston in bottom 1/3
  • Harris middle of pack in Rebounds/40; Hairston bottom 1/3, Stauskas 2nd to last
  • Harris #5 in Steals/40; Hairston #7, Stauskas dead last
  • Harris #5 in Blocks/40; Hairston #6, Stauskas middle of pack

Many, many players have made a long career in the NBA as a score-first player. Teams love them because the coach always knows what he's going to get: good or bad, you'll get scoring but maybe give up just as many points on the other end.

For a team like the Suns, the P.J. Hairston fit is an interesting one. The Suns need shooting, and Hairston would provide that in spades. But the Suns also like guys who can play defense too, and Hairston just isn't that guy. He would be a legit replacement for a Gerald Green, for example, but you can't really play Gerald and P.J. together.

If you're looking for an eventual replacement for Gerald Green who brings exactly what Gerald brought, then P.J. is your man.

At the 14th or 18th spot, Hairston would be a reach. But at the 27th spot, he would be a great value.

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