Hunter was completely overwhelmed in Phoenix, where he was promoted to head coach after Alvin Gentry’s mid-season departure. Hunter obviously didn’t have much time to prepare – he was previously the team’s player development director, not even an assistant coach – so his struggles are somewhat understandable. If someone were to build a case for Hunter, he could claim Hunter would do much better with adequate time to develop and install his system.
But that’s what Michael Curry could do, too.
When the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, Curry couldn’t handle it. Curry spent all offseason developing a plan for the group of players he thought he’d be coaching, and when those players changed, Curry was nearly as overwhelmed as Hunter was. Being an NBA head coach takes more flexibility than that.
His experience in Phoenix – still ongoing until the Suns, who just fired their general manager, fire him – might prepare him to be a head coach again some day, but Hunter isn’t ready now.
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