NBA Notes: Suns appear close to hiring Hornacek

NBA Notes: Suns appear close to hiring Hornacek
May 26, 2013, 8:45 pm
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The Phoenix Suns appear close to hiring Jeff Hornacek as their head coach.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday that the Suns are in contract negotiations with Hornacek, although no deal has been finalized. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no public announcement had been made.

The comments came after azcentralsports, which includes the Arizona Republic, reported Sunday that Hornacek reached agreement on a three-year contract.

If all goes as anticipated, Hornacek would be introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

Hornacek, assistant coach for the Utah Jazz, played six seasons for the Suns and was part of the trade that sent Charles Barkley to the Suns from Philadelphia. Hornacek went on to have his best pro seasons as a sharpshooting guard alongside John Stockton in the Utah backcourt.

He replaces interim coach Lindsey Hunter, who took over the team when Alvin Gentry and the club agreed to part ways in mid-January. Hunter was strongly backed by general manager Lance Blanks, who was fired at the end of the season and replaced by ex-Boston Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough. The survivor in the revamped cast is Lon Baby, who got a two-year contract extension as president of basketball operations.

The 50-year-old Hornacek faces a daunting task rebuilding a once-successful franchise that compiled the worst record in the Western Conference and second-worst in franchise history at 27-55 last season. Only the franchise's inaugural season was worse (see full story).

Wade not suspended following flagrant foul
INDIANAPOLIS -- NBA officials decided Sunday that Dwyane Wade's forearm shot to Lance Stephenson was a flagrant foul -- just not enough of a shot to warrant a suspension.

The league issued its ruling shortly before the Heat were to face Indiana in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Neither Pacers coach Frank Vogel nor Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expected the league to hand down a suspension with a berth in the NBA Finals at stake. Wade explained to reporters before the game that he was not surprised by the decision.

"I wasn't worried because it wasn't intentional," he said. "All I was trying to do was get out of the way of him trying to set a screen."

Wade then cut off questions, saying he only wanted to talk about Game 3, which is Sunday night at Indiana. He will be in the starting lineup.

The play occurred in the fourth quarter of Indiana's Game 2 victory when Stephenson was running down the court on a fast-break. Wade jumped into the air and hit Stephenson in the back of the head with his arm, knocking Stephenson to the floor. No foul was called on the play (see full story).

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