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In an October 2018 interview, the former Phoenix Suns head coach spoke to Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes about his dismissal from the franchise. In an ESPN.com story released on Thursday, it was reported that Suns owner Robert Sarver has made racist, misogynistic and sexist remarks towards team employees.
CHRIS HAYNES: You brought up your situation. You were let go, I believe, what, three games into the season last year?
EARL WATSON: Yeah, a third game in. But I knew two weeks before that I had a two-week ultimatum, or to either accept the ultimatum or eventually be let go. And I obviously chose to be let go.
CHRIS HAYNES: An ultimatum?
EARL WATSON: Ultimatum. I'm not going get into the details. But I know I had two weeks. And for me, I couldn't do it. It was more-- it was bigger than basketball for me.
CHRIS HAYNES: Was this ultimatum-- who was this ultimatum by?
EARL WATSON: Obviously The Suns, by ownership.
CHRIS HAYNES: OK, is this something the team was aware of?
EARL WATSON: I mean, it's no secrets in the NBA, like in the league. It's no secrets, especially on the team, you know? Things always creep into the locker room.
That's why you see a lot of times when coaches are-- you know, teams are fluctuating. A lot of times, it's never on the court. It's in the locker room and kind of conversations of what goes on behind the scenes.