Will firing Earl Watson help keep Eric Bledsoe happy in Phoenix?
Was the Suns’ firing of Earl Watson a result of point guard Eric Bledsoe’s discontent, or the other way around?
The Phoenix Suns fired head coach Earl Watson Sunday in what may or may not have been a reactionary move to the discontent of starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. The Suns are 0-3 at this early juncture of the season, but that certainly comes as no surprise for what is the youngest team in the NBA. Phoenix is in rebuilding mode, though the 128.7 points per game the team is allowing through three contests may have simply been too much for owner Robert Sarver to swallow.
It’s been widely speculated that Bledsoe was expressing his dissatisfaction with the team’s situation when he tweeted this Sunday afternoon:
The tweet may have been referring to something other than Phoenix’s current basketball situation, but the fact that it remained undeleted for hours amidst the reaction of the Twittersphere seems to imply otherwise.
Is it possible that Bledsoe wanted Watson out as coach? The point guard has averaged a mere 27.7 minutes per game thus far this season, significantly lower than any other of Bledsoe’s years in Phoenix. The former Kentucky Wildcat logged just 24 minutes and took four shots in Saturday night’s 130-88 loss to the Clippers.
Perhaps the team’s horrid start coupled with Bledsoe’s implied disgruntlement caused management to feel a sense of urgency, the fallout being Watson’s dismissal. It’s also possible, although less likely, that Bledsoe caught wind of the Watson news before it was released to the public, and the tweet was just piling on to the swirling discontentment of all parties.
Whatever the actual situation, there is no denying that Sunday was a chaotic day for a Phoenix organization that has been trying to find its footing for a few years now. Through three games, the Suns are allowing the most points in the league by a significant margin, and none of their prized youngsters are off to a great start (not even Devin Booker).