The Phoenix Suns have wasted no time trying to fill their head coaching vacancy.
Just 10 days after the Suns fired head coach Monty Williams following the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals, Phoenix has reportedly narrowed its list of possible replacements to four.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, those four finalists are former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers; former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez; and Suns associate head coach Kevin Young.
Rivers and Nurse are the two most familiar names there, obviously. Neither has been out of work long. Rivers was fired a week ago after the 76ers were ousted from the playoffs. The Raptors parted ways with Nurse after the team failed to advance past the NBA Play-In Tournament.
Young seems to be the popular dark-horse candidate among many Suns fans and even players. The former 76ers assistant joined Phoenix in 2020, was promoted to associate head coach in 2021 and has been mentioned as a candidate for several open jobs the past couple of seasons.
Suns star Devin Booker noted earlier this season, “He can do stuff on the court and he’s a mastermind with the Xs and Os and game scouting and knowing teams,” (via AZCentral.com).
Phoenix fans and NBA observers had some strong opinions about the Suns’ finalists.
DOC IN PHX WOULD BE HILARIOUS LMAOO
— FADE (@FadeAwayMedia) May 24, 2023
KD left bkn to be coached by Doc Rivers? LMAO
— Space City br 🎙🚀 (@spacecitybr) May 24, 2023
STAY AWAY FROM OUR JORDI
— KingsMuse (@kings_muse) May 24, 2023
Hire Doc. Pour gas on the fire 🔥
— Dorian (@DorianGroup82) May 24, 2023
Nick Nurse is the best coach of the four
— George Salib (@NeoGeo913) May 24, 2023
DOC?????? They should have just kept Monty. What in the world do business execs be thinking?
— Augustus Gloop (@JDC357) May 24, 2023
Who’s it going to be, Suns fans?
I’m taking either Nick Nurse or Kevin Young! https://t.co/rrm0IId6K9
— Joshua Unangst (@JoshuaUnangst13) May 24, 2023
Doc Rivers is living off that 2008 title. He must know something about the league that keeps getting him all these opportunities.
— IKD (@ESPNneedsIKD) May 24, 2023