The Phoenix Suns entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of ending their eight-year playoff drought. The Suns may have failed to acquire a legitimate NBA superstar, but they added veterans Trevor Ariza and Jamal Crawford in the free agency market, and young and talented players DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Unfortunately, since the 2018-19 NBA season began, the Suns are nothing but huge disappointments. The team who vowed to earn a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference is currently on an eight-game losing streak and holds the worst record in the league at 4-22. As they continue to struggle, drama has started to build around Phoenix.
During their game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, Mikal Bridges was caught having an argument with Suns Head Coach Igor Kokoskov. At the end of the third quarter, veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford slammed the ball on the floor as a way of expressing his frustration over the team’s poor performance on both ends of the floor. But that is not where it ends.
After suffering an embarrassing defeat, the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, had “exchanged words” with No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. The two previously had a disagreement on the court when Booker corrected Ayton on what to do on certain plays.
“I’m an emotional guy, too,” Ayton said. “I start to feel stuff. When I don’t sense it and the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is. Nineteen-year vet or 15 years, it don’t matter. We all have a job to do and I have to step it up a little more, too.”
Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton “exchanged words” following blowout loss to Blazers, per @DuaneRankin— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 7, 2018
Ayton: “When I don’t sense it and the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is.”https://t.co/jc8L8nhzzA pic.twitter.com/EIWo1dlSdD
The dispute between Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton is proving to be a major concern for the Suns. Booker and Ayton are the players who are expected to make the Suns a significant team in the Western Conference once again. Though Booker is currently considered as the face of the franchise, Ayton said that the Suns were his team.
“This is my team,” Ayton said, via The Athletic. “I feel everything. When we lose and stuff like this, I’m hurting. I take it (with) pride. I’m the guy that’s gonna be here for (several) years.”
As of now, the Suns must have started to find ways to end the drama surrounding the team. However, if they are serious about returning to title contention, the Suns should be aggressive in targeting legitimate NBA superstars either via trade or free agency.