Just when fans thought the Phoenix Suns hit rock bottom, things managed to get a little bit worse.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports, the Phoenix Suns often-injured and half-retired back-up center Jermaine O’Neal “engaged in a loud, expletive-laced confrontation” with GM Lance Blanks sometime yesterday. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reported on Twitter that O’Neal missed today’s practice for “unstated medical reasons” and will not be flying with the team to face off against the Sacramento Kings tomorrow night.
While there aren’t many details regarding what sparked this incident, the Phoenix Suns did recently fire former head coach Alvin Gentry. At 13-28, which is good for the NBA’s third worst record, a coaching change isn’t something that should be taken as a surprise.
However, the placement of Linsey Hunter as interim head coach is shaking more than a few heads. Especially when former player and fan favorite, Dan Majerle, refused to be his assistant. With less than a season’s worth of coaching under his belt, Hunter’s promotion qualifies as more than questionable. Blanks reasoning for this? “Risk trumps safety.”
As a veteran, and one of the more respected guys in the league, chances are that Jermaine O’Neal is taking issue to some of the recent changes the team has gone through. More details will be reported as they emerge.