Paul Coro, USA TODAY Sports
The Suns selected first-year player development coordinator Lindsey Hunter to be the interim coach for the second half of the season.
After former four-year coach Alvin Gentry's departure Friday morning, Suns General Manager Lance Blanks led the decision on picking an internal replacement and chose Hunter over Suns veteran assistant coaches Elston Turner, Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov.
Majerle likely will choose to not return to the staff. Turner, the lead assistant for the past two years, was meeting with Hunter at US Airways on Sunday morning, when Hunter learned of the decision.
Hunter, 42, joined the Suns last season as a scout and was named the head of a new player development unit in the summer. Hunter has sat in the second row behind the Suns' coaching staff during most games but had not coached since ending his 17-year NBA playing career in 2010. Hunter was a part of 12 playoff teams and two championships (the 2001-02 Lakers and the 2003-04 Pistons).
Hunter will run his first practice Sunday in preparation for the team's next game Wednesday at Sacramento. Hunter's hire signals that the Suns intend to use more of their youth, as he has been a proponent of first-round draft choice Kendall Marshall. At 13-28, the Suns are in last place in the Western Conference and assumedly out of the playoff race.