Phoenix Suns hire Terry Porter as coach
June 8, 2008 1:00am CST
PHOENIX (AP)—Terry Porter will be the Phoenix Suns’ next coach, ending the club’s monthlong search for a successor to Mike D’Antoni. Phoenix general manager Steve Kerr said Saturday he had agreed to terms with Porter, who was an assistant with the Detroit Pistons. The 45-year-old Porter played in the NBA for 17 seasons and teamed with Kerr in San Antonio. “He’s got a great combination of leadership skills,” Kerr said in a telephone interview. “He’s a great communicator. And his coaching experience, two years as a head coach, is important to me. The fact that he’s sat in that chair, that was a key factor. He’s very tough-minded.” Porter is expected to sign a three-year deal worth about $7 million, and he likely will be introduced at a news conference early next week. His hiring was first reported by ESPN. “I’m very excited,” Porter said in a telephone interview. “I’m looking forward to getting started.” Porter emerged from an extensive list of candidates interviewed by the Suns. Last week, Kerr said the list had been pared to four—Porter and assistants Elston Turner of Houston, Tyrone Corbin of Utah and Mike Budenholzer of San Antonio. “We interviewed some great candidates, and we wanted to take our time and make sure we made the right choice,” Kerr said. “He’s the right guy, and I’m glad to have him on board.” Porter was the only one of the final four with head coaching experience, leading the Milwaukee Bucks. He went 71-93 (.433) from 2003-05, and the Bucks made the playoffs in his first year. “I knew obviously I had a strong resume,” Porter said. Porter will become the Suns’ seventh coach since 1993, when they made their last NBA Finals appearance. Porter inherits a talented but aging roster that features former MVPs Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal, along one of the league’s best front-line players in Amare Stoudemire. The Suns job opened up last month when D’Antoni left to sign with the New York Knicks. Under D’Antoni, the Suns played an entertaining, uptempo style and had four highly successful regular seasons. But the team never made it past the conference finals. After the Suns were eliminated in the first round by San Antonio this year, D’Antoni decided to leave rather than make some changes that Kerr reportedly wanted, including more emphasis on defense. Once D’Antoni left, Kerr embarked on a deliberate national search for a successor, working with owner Robert Sarver and vice president for basketball operations David Griffin. From the start, Porter was viewed as a front-runner because of his long relationship with Kerr. They played together in San Antonio from 1999-2001, Porter, a native of Milwaukee, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. ---------------------------------------------------- i think terry porter is a good fit for the phoenix suns. with steve kerr's call for a change of team direction that will focus more on defense, porter is the man to lead this team. phoenix fans, what do you think of the suns' chances now that terry porter will be the coach next season?
8 Jun 08
hi phlamingho. porter was one of the favorites to be coach of the suns. his playing days with steve kerr at san antonio and his experience as a head coach before in milwaukee were considered his aces for the job. i think we'll see a different phoenix team next season, a more defense-oriented one. of course, they'll still run every chance they get but there will be more emphasis on defense. suns were really a mediocre defensive team for the past couple of seasons. of course, i see them trading some players to shore up their defense. barbosa's name is being throw in the trade rumor mills but no definite plans have been mentioned yet. just my thoughts.