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3 things to know about Phoenix Suns interim head coach Jay Triano

3 things to know about Phoenix Suns interim head coach Jay Triano
Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 22, 2017

The Phoenix Suns have parted ways with head coach Earl Watson just three games into the 2017-18 NBA season.

The Suns have named associate head coach Jay Triano to replace Watson as the team's interim head coach. Here are three things you should know about the 59-year-old Triano.

1. He has more head coaching experience than Earl Watson does.

This won't be Triano's first NBA head coaching gig. He was the head coach of the Toronto Raptors for three seasons, beginning when he took over as the team's interim head coach in 2008 following the firing of Sam Mitchell. He went 25-40 in the 2008-09 season and 40-42 in 2009-10, his first full season as head coach. He was let go after the Raptors went 22-60 in 2010-11.

So, Triano has 229 games of NBA head coaching experience under his belt, nearly double the 118 games Watson has (all in Phoenix).

2. He's Canadian.

Triano didn't just coach a Canadian team; he happens to be from the Great White North. A native of Tillsonburg, Ontario, Triano went on to play and later coach basketball at Simon Fraser University near Vancouver, and he's the current head coach of Canada's men's national basketball team.

Triano became the first Canadian-born coach in NBA history when the Raptors named him as an assistant in 2002. He won't be the only Valley head coach from Canada, however, as Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet is a Toronto native.

3. Watson used to play for him.

Triano's most recent job before coming to Phoenix was assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers under head coach Terry Stotts. He helped guide the Blazers to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2014-16 before joining Watson in the Valley.

Here's the interesting thing about that: Watson actually played for Triano in Portland in 2013-14, his final season as an NBA player. So, Triano went from coaching Watson to coaching under him in Phoenix.