May 9, 2024 - News

Suns fire Vogel after single disappointing season

A man at a table during a press conference.

Frank Vogel's Suns underachieved this season. Photo: Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns fired head coach Frank Vogel on Thursday, less than two weeks after his first season ended with a devastating sweep in the first round of the playoffs.

Why it matters: The Suns had hoped Vogel, who won it all with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, would be the coach to finally deliver a championship to the Valley.

The intrigue: Vogel's firing brings more upheaval to a franchise that's seen constant change since Ishbia took over early last year.

  • Ishbia overhauled the roster in a bid for immediate success, most notably with his blockbuster trade for superstar Kevin Durant.
  • Vogel's successor will be the Suns' third head coach in as many seasons. He came on board after the team fired Monty Williams.

Flashback: At a press conference last week, Ishbia wouldn't comment on whether Vogel would return for a second season in Phoenix.

  • "I think Frank Vogel did a lot of great things," as did others in the team's leadership, he said, "but we're going to evaluate everything."

What they're saying: "We are here to win a championship and last season was way below our expectations. We will continue to evaluate our operation and make the necessary changes to reach our championship-caliber goals," GM and president of basketball operations James Jones said in a statement on Thursday.

What we're watching: Who's up next.

  • Bet Arizona has former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer as the favorite for the Suns' next head coach.
  • Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is the second best bet.
  • Suns great and former Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash is a long shot — but that sure would be fun to see!

The other side: There was no shortage of people who rallied to Vogel's defense, taking the position that he took the fall for problems that weren't his fault.

  • "It was all Frank Vogel's fault!" sportswriter Bill Simmons sarcastically posted on X, noting that the Suns don't have a point guard, lacked defense around the rim and were heavily reliant on Bradley Beal, who missed a large chunk of the season due to injuries and "cratered" in the playoffs.

The bottom line: Whoever replaces Vogel will be under a lot of pressure to make the most of a team that's viewed as having a very narrow window to win a championship.

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