Phoenix Suns and head coach Alvin Gentry 'part ways'

PHOENIX - After a five-year run, the Phoenix Suns and head coach Alvin Gentry have gone their separate ways.

In a Friday morning press release, the Suns said Gentry and the team "have mutually agreed to part ways after his five-plus seasons as head coach."

An interim coach will reportedly be named in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The team is currently ranked at the bottom of the Western Conference, with a record of 13-28 at the midway point of the 2012-2013 season.

"All of us, including Alvin, realized that the pieces weren't fitting. To be sure, integrating nine new players was a challenge. Alvin is a good coach and a good person. I wish him the best," said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. "As for us, we will remain focused on moving this team forward."

Gentry was named Phoenix's interim head coach in Feb. 2009, and scored the official head coaching spot on May 9, 2009. 

"Alvin's hard work, dedication and coaching ability over the last nine years have been an important part of the success of our organization," said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. "These partings are never easy but are, unfortunately, part of the business of professional sports. I wish nothing but the best for Alvin and his family."

The firing comes just one day after the team lost against the Milwaukee Bucks, who haven't won a game in Phoenix in 24 tries.

After Thursday night's loss Gentry said, "You have to be able to make plays down the stretch to win games, especially close games. They made them and we didn't. We got the ball right at the basket and we couldn't get it in."

In five-plus seasons, Gentry's teams compiled a 158-144 (.523) record, earning one playoff appearance and a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals, led by Steve Nash.

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