Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin and interim coach Earl Watson all brushed off an incident during a timeout in Phoenix’s loss Wednesday to the Warriors when Morris shoved Goodwin and teammates had to separate them, as Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic details. It’s not the first confrontation involving Morris to take place on the Suns bench this season, and while the towel he tossed in former coach Jeff Hornacek‘s direction in the midst of a December game resulted in a two-game suspension for the power forward, other teams don’t find it concerning, reports Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports.
“We have to control our emotions,” Watson said, according to Coro. “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.”
Executives acknowledge that emotions run high and boil over at times during the heat of competition and most say the extra scrutiny surrounding Morris this year magnified the negative public perception of the towel toss, according to Marks. Nevertheless, if such outbursts become common, they could still hurt his trade value, Marks concedes. See more on one of the season’s most significant trade candidates:
- Teams with interest in trading for Morris have wondered if the breakdown in communication between the Suns, Morris and his brother Marcus Morris this summer is a harbinger of similar problems they’d have if they traded for Markieff, as Marks details in the same piece. Those teams have looked into the relationship between Marcus and the Pistons and found no issues, Marks adds.
- Markieff Morris said after Wednesday’s game that he didn’t regret having shoved Goodwin, notes Paula Boivin of The Arizona Republic. The way that Morris and the rest of the team have responded to the incident is baffling, Boivin contends, believing that Morris’ behavior puts the team in a tough position.
- Morris praised Watson for sticking with him, as Boivin relays in the same column, and the coach has been complimentary of Morris since taking over for Hornacek, as his comments before Wednesday game illustrate. “Everybody thought Markieff would be the toughest challenge,” Watson said, according to Coro (Twitter link). “He’s been the easiest challenge.”