After the Portland Trail Blazers summarily disposed of the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, tensions flared in the Phoenix camp. Going down 31-5 to start the game didn’t sit well with the veterans in the Suns locker room, and according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic, the elder players let their teammates have an earful.
“How long have you been around basketball,” Suns veteran Trevor Ariza asked a reporter in a calm voice when asked what the conversations are like on the bench when trailing by 25 after the first quarter.
“So what do you think the conversation would be like after that?
“Probably not very positive.”
“Exactly,” he said. “Not too happy, but again, that’s on us for not playing hard.”
Tensions flared between the team’s stars.
Phoenix’s top two players, Booker and Ayton, exchanged words after the 10-minute cooling off period as members of the media entered the visiting locker room for the tail end of that conversation.
These two have had words before on the court, with Booker correcting Ayton on what to do on certain plays. Both have agreed to hold players accountable, but this felt different.
Rankin’s article contains much more, including serious incredulity about Jake Layman making the Suns his punching bag.