Watson agreed to a three-year deal in his new position after going 9-24 with the Suns to end this past season. The team would finish with the second-worst record in franchise history at 23-59. Lack of talent after trades and injuries, as well as an attitude problem, is what led to the team's dismal season.
Phoenix announced the move on Tuesday, as general manager Ryan McDonough said he made the decision due to Watson having "natural leadership qualities and ability to connect with and motivate." The move was also easier to make due to the players giving Watson a positive review in meetings at the end of the season.
Watson played 13 years in the NBA with Oklahoma City, Memphis, Indiana, Denver, Utah, and Portland. At 36 years old, he becomes the youngest head coach in the league. His only other coaching experience came as an assistant for the Spurs' D-League team in Austin, Texas.
He was hired by the Suns as an assistant last summer, and moved up on the coaching staff after two assistants were fired in January. He kept moving up the ranks to interim coach, and now head coach. He was expected to adjust the attitudes of a few troublesome players, including Markieff Morris, who was traded away to Washington.
The Suns did end the season on a high note under Watson, after beginning his tenure 0-9, finishing 9-15, which included winning three of the final four games of the year. Watson showed confidence in his work, saying " I think our staff executed everything that was asked of us to do, and we mixed in a little winning also."