Phoenix Suns finally turn the page

Though Alvin Gentry wasn't the problem, parting ways with the coach sets the Suns on a new course. Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire

Friday's news that the Phoenix Suns and coach Alvin Gentry have parted ways is the best news Suns fans could have gotten. Not because Gentry is a bad coach -- he's done a capable job milking every last ounce of competitiveness from the Phoenix core some five years after Mike D'Antoni's departure -- but because it indicates that Suns management is finally getting realistic about its position in the Western Conference.

Long after Phoenix had sufficient talent to compete with the West's better teams, the Suns stuck by their insistence on trying to compete. They exceeded expectations by finishing around .500 the past two seasons following Amar'e Stoudemire's departure, but that only left Phoenix in the worst possible place for a franchise -- out of the playoffs, picking at the end of the lottery and with an ancient core of Steve Nash and Grant Hill.