Tell me if this sounds familiar: a veteran-laden team that was a championship contender for 4 straight seasons, replace their iconic head coach with a completely different philosophy who loses the support of the veterans, gets fired and is replaced by the only assistant holdover from the previous regime.
Back in 1996, Don Nelson replaced Pat Riley, tried to change the slug-it-out-for-48-minutes style into Nellie-ball. Halfway through the season, the veterans realized they couldn't win with Nellie's uptempo style and revolted. Out goes Nelson and in comes Jeff Van Gundy, who brings back the old style with instant success as the Knicks over the eventual 72-win Bulls on national tv. Eventually the Knicks would bow out to the Bulls in the second round in a very competitive five game series. Three seasons later the Knicks are in the 1999 Finals and Van Gundy becomes a Knicks legend.
The same scenario exists in Phoenix. The roster, or more importantly the two best players in Nash and Stat thrive in the up tempo Seven Seconds or Less style. Under Terry Porter, like the Knicks with Nellie, they didn't have the roster to fit his style and became shockingly very average despite having 4 All-Stars, 2 MVP's and 2 first ballot Hall of Famers. Maybe Alvin Gentry can have a similar resurgence as Van Gundy or maybe not, but this change needed to happen. And like the Knicks-Bulls series in 1996 maybe the Suns have one more strong effort against the Spurs this postseason. The Suns have far too much talent to be sitting outside of the playoff picture and Nash and Shaq don't deserve to end their careers outside looking in. So props to the Suns front office for correcting their mistake on the fly.
Now it's up to Sarver to keep Stat for two more years.