Suns owner Robert Sarver takes at least partial responsibility for failing to establish a championship culture on the team, but the owner nonetheless believes that larger generational issues are at play as the Suns continue to falter, as he tells Dan Bickley of The Arizona Republic.
“I’m not sure it’s just the NBA,” Sarver said to Bickley. “My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he can’t seem to recover from it. I’m not sure if it’s the technology or the instant gratification of being online. But the other thing is, I’m not a fan of social media. I tell my kids it’s like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations. We’ve had a number of setbacks this year that have taken their toll on us, and we haven’t been resilient. Therefore, it’s up to our entire organization to step up their game.”
The Suns, who’ve dropped nine games in a row, scored a franchise-low 22 points in the first half of last night’s loss to the Lakers, who are the least efficient defensive team in the NBA. See more from the Western Conference:
- Morris isn’t upset about the owner’s remark about him, but he doesn’t agree that he has difficulty fighting through adversity, notes Ben Golliver of SI.com. “Whatever [Sarver] said is whatever he said. I don’t get into that stuff. It didn’t bother me at all,” Morris said. “I’m from Philly. I’ve been through adversity my whole life. That’s what I’ve got to say about that. … He’s the owner. It’s his team. He can say what he wants.”
- Sarver himself shows an inability to properly tackle challenges with his ill-timed comment, Golliver argues in the same piece, and coach Jeff Hornacek is being forced to deal with a roster that doesn’t fit, the SI scribe contends.
- The team’s refusal to pick up its option for next season on Hornacek’s contract and GM Ryan McDonough‘s failure at times to recognize the need for communication and veteran leadership are some of the problems at hand, Bickley believes, as he writes in the piece linked above. Bickley also thinks the team wants Hornacek to improve his ability to handle the team’s psyche.
- We passed along news on Phoenix’s reported interest in Mike D’Antoni right here.