Suns Name Terry Porter Head Coach
By Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Posted June 7, 2008
Posted June 7, 2008
Today Suns General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Steve Kerr confirmed reports that Terry Porter will become Phoenix’s next head coach.
Porter, who has served as the Pistons’ lead assistant coach for the past two seasons, was also the former head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Porter was the last head coach to lead the Bucks into the postseason.
Porter and Kerr were former teammates in San Antonio during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns. Known as a heady player throughout his 17-year NBA career, Porter rose from obscurity as a Division III guard at Wisconsin-Stevens Point to become a two-time NBA All-Star.
"We had an impressive list of candidates, but Terry stood out based on his leadership, his communication skills and his coaching experience as the head guy in Milwaukee for two seasons and the last couple years in Detroit," Kerr said.
The Suns chose Porter over an impressive list of candidates that included Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin, Rockets assistant Elston Turner and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer. Throughout the search process, the Suns GM continued to stress the importance of finding a candidate that already had prior experience as a head coach.
In addition, it was believed that Kerr felt it was important to find a coach that possesed a balanced view of the game. The Suns desired a coach that put an equal amount of weight on offense as well as defense.
Thus far, Porter’s coaching career reflects just that. As the head coach in Milwaukee, the Bucks boasted the top scoring offense in the Eastern Conference. But as an assistant with the Pistons this past season, they were ranked the best defensive team in the league.
"He's a guy who is committed to uptempo basketball, which was important to us,” Kerr explained. “But he's also very experienced when it comes to defense, both from his time with the Pistons and as a player. He was a tenacious defensive player and he's very tough minded."
Porter’s introductory press conference should take place on either Monday or Tuesday. He will become just the 13th head coach in Suns history.
"I'm really excited just to get him in place. I think he'll do a great job with our team. Of course, part of being a good coach is having good players and we have that. So I'm excited about the opportunity for Terry."