ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended December 19, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?
Suns Coach Danny Ainge Resigns

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Suns Coach Danny Ainge Resigns
Yahoo News (AP) 13Dec99 S2
By Bob Baum: AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- LDS Church member and coach of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, Danny Ainge, resigned yesterday, shocking the team, its employees and basketball fans just six weeks into a new NBA season. In a statement to the press, Ainge said he was leaving to "save my family."

Ainge made the decision last week, and told his top assistant, Scott Skiles, who will replace him, of the decision on the plane ride home from Dallas, where the Suns lost Saturday night. "I love coaching, but anybody can coach," explained Ainge in the statement he made to the press. "My wife has just one husband and my children have just one father. Some of you may think I'm jumping ship. I don't believe I'm jumping ship. I'm diving overboard to save my family."

Team members tried to connect the resignation to the teams performance, where Ainge had a record of 136-90 over more than three seasons with the Suns. The current season record was 13-7. "I didn't see it coming," the Suns' Tom Gugliotta said. "I knew our playing to our potential on the court was not perfect, but Danny had us working hard. It was a surprise." But Jason Kidd thought Ainge was getting frustrated with how the team was playing, "As a coach you kind of get fed up," Kidd said. "I think he was worn out and tired."

But Ainge says the team's performance doesn't have anything to do with his resignation, "If we were 17-3, I'd be making the same decision," he said. "It really comes down to just wanting to make a statement to my family that they are more important than my career." Ainge has children ranging in age from 4 to 19. He said one teen-age son recent said he was becoming too distant, "and I couldn't disagree with him."

Ainge said that the demands on a coach are far higher than those on a player in the NBA. "I felt like I had a lot of little kid in me when I played. I feel like that little kid is dead because I haven't been able to enjoy it. The reason that I haven't been able to enjoy it is the people I want to share it with aren't sharing it with me, and it's not as much fun. I just want to share their lives with them. It's that simple."

While Suns owner Jerry Colangelo said he initially wanted to try and talk Ainge out of resigning, but couldn't dispute Ainge's reasoning. "He explained the reasons why, and that's pretty powerful," Colangelo said.

Others at the Suns organization were also impressed by his reasons, "Danny is a unique person and a good friend," said the Suns' Rex Chapman. "For him to walk away from one of the best jobs in pro sports for the sake of his family makes a heck of a statement."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information