Ryan McDonough admits he made a mistake.
Asked whether he erred by not interviewing a single external candidate before promoting interim head coach Earl Watson to full-time duties last season, the Phoenix Suns general manager acknowledged the team's hiring process was flawed.
"As far as the procedure goes and the process goes, yes, I think we probably should have gone through a more extensive interview process," McDonough said on 98.7 FM's "Burns & Gambo" show Wednesday, according to Arizona Sports' Kevin Zimmerman. "Some people said that at the time. (Team owner) Robert (Sarver) and I take and accept that criticism, and I think we'll learn from that going forward."
Watson was fired after the Suns were outscored by a combined 92 points in their three-game winless start to the 2017-18 season. He compiled a 33-85 head coaching record in his Suns tenure. Associate head coach - and former Toronto Raptors bench boss - Jay Triano has been promoted to interim status for the remainder of the season.
With the franchise clearly thinking long term, developing the Suns' stable of young talent is paramount. Triano has his work cut out for him with 11 players 24 and under on the current roster.
"Anytime you have a team that's historically young with players in their teens and early 20s, player development is huge," McDonough added. "I think the good teams do that really well."
Since taking over the team, Triano's Suns have put together a two-game winning streak, including Wednesday's nine-point victory over a veteran Utah Jazz squad.