Suns fire Terry Porter

One scapegoat is out. Could the Suns move the other — Amare Stoudemire — before Thursday’s trade deadline?

Terry Porter was fired as coach of the Phoenix Suns, just four months into his first season with the club and the team barely in playoff contention.

Porter told The Associated Press on Monday morning that Suns general manager Steve Kerr broke the news to him at a Sunday night meeting.

“I’m going to wait a few days to gather my thoughts before I say anything,” Porter said.

Assistant coach Alvin Gentry will replace Porter, although the Suns have not yet made an announcement concerning their coaching situation.

orter was in the first year of a three-year, $6 million deal to replace Mike D’Antoni, who left after four highly successful seasons to coach the New York Knicks.

D’Antoni is a coach who lets his players run and shoot, and maybe play defense once in a while. It was Kerr’s insistence on emphasizing defense that led, in large part, to D’Antoni’s departure. Porter wanted a defense-oriented team in the tough mold of the Detroit Pistons.

It was a bad fit.

I don’t know why you sign a coach to a three-year contract only to fire him halfway through his first season. Either you have faith in the guy or you don’t. If you have enough faith in a coach to give him a contract worth $6 million, then you should have enough patience to let him coach out the year. It’s not like the Suns are 11-40 and out of the playoff race.

But the bottom line is that the Suns never should have let Mike D’Antoni go. This is just another in a long line of suspect decisions by the Suns’ management.

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