Suns fire coach Frank Vogel after getting swept out of the playoffs in the opening round

Full Screen
1 / 5

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel walks toward the bench during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

PHOENIX – Frank Vogel's tenure as coach of the Phoenix Suns is done after one disappointing season that ended without a playoff victory.

The franchise fired the 50-year-old Vogel on Thursday, less than two weeks after getting swept out of the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Recommended Videos

“After a thoughtful review of the season, we concluded that we needed a different head coach for our team," Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. "We appreciate Frank’s hard work and commitment."

Vogel was hired last summer with much fanfare and charged with leading the Suns' All-Star trio of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal. The group had some good moments, but was never quite able to gel.

Beal was hurt for much of the first half of the season. Even when he returned, the Suns were plagued by turnovers and a thin bench. Vogel said before Game 4 against the Wolves that he's “got the full support of (owner) Mat Ishbia” and expected to be back for a second season.

Now he's out of a job.

Vogel always seemed like a strange fit for the Suns, even though he won a championship with the Lakers in 2020 in the Florida bubble. He was a defensive-minded coach in charge of a team that's strength was offense. All season, it felt like the coach was searching for answers.

“You reflect back on the season, we were just inconsistent with our play and the style of play that we wanted,” Durant said after the playoff sweep. “But I think guys will dig deep this summer, work on what they need to work on individually, the coaches will make adjustments because we’ve got stuff on film from all season on who we can be.”

Booker and Durant are among the 12 players who will represent the U.S. at this year's Paris Olympics.

Ishbia has been unafraid to make big changes in his 1 1/2 years leading the franchise. He dealt for Durant at the trade deadline last season, blowing up a roster that had made the Finals in 2021. He also fired coach Monty Williams and added Beal last summer in another huge trade.

Those big changes have led to mostly big disappointment.

Now the franchise will be looking for its third head coach in three seasons. Former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer — who beat the Suns in the 2021 Finals — is among the potential candidates.

“We are here to win a championship and last season was way below our expectations,” Jones said. “We will continue to evaluate our operation and make the necessary changes to reach our championship-caliber goals. We all take accountability, and it’s my job, along with Josh and ownership, to build a championship team.”

Jones doesn’t have much room to maneuver with the roster under the league’s salary cap unless major changes are made. Durant, Booker and Beal all have big salaries and Grayson Allen just received a $70 million, four-year extension.

The Suns finished the regular season with a 49-33 record, earning the No. 6 seed to narrowly avoid the play-in tournament.

Vogel has a 480-422 record over 12 seasons with the Pacers, Lakers and Suns.



Recommended Videos