Jermaine O’Neal is in hot water after getting into a expletive-filled confrontation with Suns general manager Lance Blanks.
The confrontation came after the first practice for interim coach Lindsey Hunter, with Jermaine O’Neal reportedly upset that management didn’t seek his advice when looking for a new coach. A 17-year veteran of the NBA, O’Neal is averaging 6.4 points and four rebounds this season for the Suns.
During the argument, O’Neal repeatedly challenged Blanks, which eventually turned to a full-fledged screaming match, Yahoo! Sports reported.
“It was really bad,” one Suns source said Tuesday afternoon.
Jermaine O’Neal’s argument with Blanks may have been precipitated by the team’s poor performance on the court this season. The Suns stand at 13-28, the worst record in the Western Conference. The Suns recently fired head coach Alvin Gentry and replaced him with Hunter, who has only worked in player development and never as a coach in the past.
Gentry had led the team to its worst start in more than 20 years.
The Suns noted that Jermaine O’Neal will not accompany the team for its upcoming road trip, but said it was because of an unspecified medical issue.
Paul Coro, Suns beat reporter for the Arizona Republic, tweeted that O’Neal will not travel to Sacramento for the Suns game against the Kings on Wednesday night.
The Jermaine O’Neal fight may not be the only embarrassing headline for the Suns in the coming days. SBNation has reported that Hunter is the target of an ongoing FBI investigation into mortgage fraud.