Markieff Morris began the season disgruntled with being on the Phoenix Suns, and things don’t appear to be getting better. Thursday, the forward was suspended two games by the team, following a fourth-quarter incident in Wednesday’s game against the Denver Nuggets in which Morris, on his way back to the bench, threw a towel that hit Coach Jeff Hornacek in the leg.
Hornacek threw the towel back at Morris and had some words for the player, who has expressed unhappiness since Phoenix traded away his twin brother, Marcus, in July. The Suns cited “conduct detrimental to the team” in announcing the suspension.
Morris took to Twitter Thursday to claim that he did not mean to hit Hornacek with the towel, and the fifth-year forward apologized for the incident. Nevertheless, he will sit out the Suns’ upcoming home games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Following Wednesday’s game, Hornacek had this to say (via the Arizona Republic): “He’s mad about not playing,” the coach said. “I look at the stat sheet. He’s a minus-13 in 12 minutes. So there, I took him out. … He thinks he’s better than that. Show me.”
After starting all 82 games last season, as well as every game in which he played over the first five weeks of this season, Morris has been coming off the bench of late for Phoenix, which has been in a tailspin since late November. While Morris’s per-36 minutes statistics are mostly in line with his career averages, his two-point field goal percentage is markedly down and his turnovers are up.
In September, Morris tweeted, “My future will not be in Phoenix…” It’s looking increasingly likely that he will get his wish and finish the season with a different team, although he’s not doing much to help his trade value.