Ryan McDonough looks to overhaul Suns
by Paul Coro, USA TODAY Sports
Ryan McDonough’s first decade of work all came in the familiar hue of Celtics green in his hometown of Boston.
Suddenly, this week, he dropped like an alien onto Planet Orange. On Thursday, McDonough spoke on his new role as the Suns general manager, wearing an orange tie that he just had been given. He sat in front of Phoenix bird insignias in a room with purple carpet and a pillar commemorating Al McCoy’s call of a Suns-Celtics NBA Finals game played before he was born.
Despite unfamiliar surroundings, McDonough, 33, was convincing of his comfort with the role and his vision, though that vision was not fully disclosed. He might have won the news conference but fans want to know how and when he will help the Suns win games after a miserable 25-57 season. He came to Phoenix because he believes it is a franchise that could win a championship some day but he did not make grandiose promises; only hard work and use of every resource for a turnaround from three consecutive non-playoff seasons.
“I feel like I was in a great spot there (as Boston’s assistant GM) and I wasn’t going to leave unless it was a spectacular opportunity somewhere else and I feel like this is that opportunity,” McDonough said. “There are some good young pieces in place here. There’s some good talent on the roster. Lon (Babby, president of basketball operations) and Robert (Sarver, managing partner) and their staffs have done a good job of auiring draft picks and young players and positioning this team for sustainable success.”
McDonough did not get much time to soak in the emotion of his first GM job until the end of the news conference, when he got choked up answering a question about his brothers, Sean (an ESPN play-by-play announcer) and Terry (a NFL front office veteran), being in attendance.
Otherwise, McDonough was already on task, starting with selecting a head coach. KTAR-AM (620) reported a candidate list of assistant coaches Mike Budenholzer (San Antonio), Brian Shaw (Indiana), Kelvin Sampson (Houston) and Quin Snyder (CSKA Moscow). McDonough said several of his ideal … [For more on Ryan McDonough looks to overhaul Suns as new GM, click here.]