James Jones: Suns Focused On The Future

James Jones has a new title and a laundry list of things to address on his to-do list. The recently named Phoenix Suns general manager met the media Wednesday morning to discuss a number of those tasks, including finding a new head coach after relieving Igor Kokoskov earlier this week.

“Ultimately, the job that I agreed to was to make decisions for the franchise,” Jones explained. “The decision with Igor was mine and mine alone. That’s why it was a tough decision because I do have a ton of respect for Igor.”

As for the new coach moving forward, Jones refused to speculate on specific names but said the process is already ongoing and wouldn’t rule out a coach without previous head coaching experience. Kokoskov, Earl Watkins and Jeff Hornacek were all hired by Phoenix as rookie head coaches.

“Some of the games best coaches were assistants who became head coaches,” he said.

Jones did refer to hiring a head coach with previous NBA experience leading a team as “gold” but sounded open-minded to exploring all options and stressed he won’t be working within a certain budget when it comes to the hiring process.

He explained it was a collective set of issues the team could improve on moving forward this summer and beyond. Jones also said he’s hopeful to re-sign restricted free agent Kelly Oubre, Jr. although the two haven’t spoken recently.  

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.