Suns’ Markieff Morris on TO dust-up: ‘That’s part of being a leader’ – USA TODAY

11 months ago Comments Off on Suns’ Markieff Morris on TO dust-up: ‘That’s part of being a leader’ – USA TODAY

Nobody needs a break like the Suns.

It has not come in the way of opponent or result so they will have to settle for a break in the schedule.

The Suns could not snap out of the franchise’s worst rut ever but they did snap at each other during a 112-104 loss to reigning NBA champs Golden State.

On their way to a ninth consecutive loss and 24th loss in the past 26 games, Suns teammates Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin spoiled a decent opening to another blowout by getting into a timeout argument resulting in shoves less than three minutes into the game.

Morris had been talking to Goodwin as they headed to the bench for the time out and shoved him on the way. Goodwin sat down when Morris continued to emphatically talk to Goodwin, who has been one of his closer teammates. Players and staff tried to calm the two as it escalated and then had to jump in to separate the two when words turned into shoves.

“That’s nothing,” Morris said. “That’s part of being a leader, being a big brother. Sometimes, little brothers and big brothers get into it. That’s what happened. Wrong place, wrong time.

“That’s my little brother. I’ve been here with him for three years. I know him really well. I know his family. We’re really close. It happens sometimes … Big brothers shake little brothers up some times. It don’t look good but nothing I do is going to look good.”

Goodwin wound up being the Suns’ leading scorer with 20 points in 28 minutes. Morris finished with 19 points and eight rebounds and was starting to break away from last year’s issues, including behavioral ones with a trade request and being suspended for two games for tossing a towel at former coach Jeff Hornacek. He had begun to separate himself some from the performance struggles and trade rumors with interim head coach Earl Watson putting him back in the starting lineup.

“We have to control our emotions,” Watson said. “Other than that, those two are really close. The team is not split. Those two are the closest on the team. They have a bond, a unique relationship. As we’ve seen, unique relationships can lead to something else throughout the league.”

“I told Markieff over and over, ‘No matter what, I’ll stand up for you but you have to give us everything you have.’ And he does … No one at 25 or 26 is defined for the rest of their life.”

Recently, Clippers star Blake Griffin broke his hand when he punched his friend, the team’s assistant equipment manager.

Watson benched Goodwin and left Morris in the game. Goodwin did not return until the start of the second quarter when Morris was out of the game. The two played together later in the first half. They also gave each other a fist pound before they started the second half.

“I go to his house all the time,” Goodwin said. “He comes to my house. We’re great friends. He’s like a brother to me. It’s just one of those situations. Family fight but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him any more or any less.”

Morris said leadership is not new to him, saying he has done it in college and high school and “jacked a couple guys up in my day.” He apologized and each expressed his love for the other.

“I just want the best for them,” Morris said. “They’re younger guys. I’m just trying to show them the right way. I was a little aggressive but eventually they’re going to be aggressive with their little brothers too. It’s just how it go.”

Suns’ Markieff Morris on TO dust-up: ‘That’s part of being a leader’ – USA TODAY

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