Phoenix Suns name Earl Watson interim coach

Posted at 4:16 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 18:48:04-05

The Phoenix Suns have promoted assistant coach Earl Watson to interim head coach, the team announced Monday.

Watson becomes the 17th coach in Suns team history. He replaces Jeff Hornacek, whom the Suns fired as head coach on Monday.

Watson, a former point guard, played collegiately for UCLA and went on to play for six NBA teams from 2001-14. He was an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs of the NBA's Development League last season before joining the Suns' staff this season.

Watson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals during his 14 years as a pro.

Earlier on Monday, ESPN reported the Suns' interim coach list was narrowed down to Watson and fellow Suns assistants Nate Bjorkgren and Corey Gaines.

See also: Suns reportedly interested in Steve Nash as head coach

Bjorkgren was the head coach of the Suns' Summer League team in Las Vegas and led the Suns to an appearance in the Summer League championship game. 

Gaines played in five NBA seasons from 1988-95 and was the head coach of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury from 2007-13. He led the Mercury to the 2009 WNBA championship.

See also: Former Suns player/coach Dan Majerle comments on Hornacek's departure