Earlier this morning the Phoenix Suns fired their head coach Jeff Hornacek after going 14-35 thus far this season. It’s been a mess in Phoenix. Tyson Chandler has not been producing how they had hoped, Eric Bledsoe is out for the season with a torn meniscus, and Markeiff Morris is still acting like a 5 year old.
With Hornacek’s firing, the speculation on who his successor may be has started, and one name that people are talking about, Steve Nash. Nash, a Suns legend and current player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, had his number retired earlier this season in Phoenix. It was apparent that the fans in Phoenix adore Nash and why wouldn’t they? That being said there’s no doubt in my mind the fans would welcome him as a head coach.
Obviously Nash has no head coaching experience but I think the organization would also back him if he were to be hired. Nash still has a strong relationship with Suns owner Robert Sarver, the two recently bought a Spanish soccer team together. Nash has one of the highest basketball IQ’s I have ever seen, and he could provide that if he were to run a team. I think Nash would benefit young guards like Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. He’s also currently the GM for Canada Basketball, so he’s easily applicable.
I also believe that Nash would revive the Phoenix basketball market. Obviously bringing back your former star is a great publicity move and would definitely spark public interest. With the way the Suns have been playing this season, a move like bringing Nash back to the organization can also make the fans’ perspectives take a 180 degree turn. Fans would undoubtedly come to see Nash as their coach and put their faith in him to turn around the team. He could also serve a key role in recruiting free agents to Phoenix. Nash has many friends in the league and was always perceived as a respectable guy.
Logistically it makes sense, but the reality of whether Nash would accept an offer is in question. A few years back when Nash was a free agent, he was targeted by several franchises. He ended up getting traded to the Lakers, which he described as a perfect opportunity because he would be closer to his children in Phoenix. Now Nash’s children are with him in LA so the question is whether he would move them again or be willing to spend time away from them as a head coach.
Right now this is all speculation, neither the Suns or Nash have made any statement. I’m sure there will be more buzz all the way leading up until the offseason. The Suns say they will have an interim coach from their staff for the time being. If the Suns pursue Nash I would expect it to be this summer.
Personally, I do not know whether or not Nash would accept the job if offered. When he retired, he was looking forward to father time. He did join the Warriors staff though, but that was a part-time position. Nash stated he missed the team atmosphere, and this gig with Golden State filled that void. Hopefully this speculation will progress.