Marcus Morris was understandably upset.
How he showed it was confounding.
During the third quarter of last night’s Suns-Timberwolves game, Morris was battling Thaddeus Young for a loose ball, and Morris came up holding his face. He spoke briefly to a referee and appeared calm enough. Play continued without apparent incident.
Then, at the next stoppage, Morris got called for a technical foul. That’s not so unusual. Sometimes, players hold their complaints until the action stops. Clearly, Morris went past the referee’s line.
But after the technical, Morris absolutely lost it – not at the refs, but at Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.
Maybe Morris was upset Hornacek didn’t stick up for him? Maybe Morris was yelling to – not, as it appeared, at – Hornacek?
Regardless of what happened, Morris didn’t return to the game, and Phoenix rallied to win.
“It was heat of the moment,” Morris said. “Coach knows I’ve got a lot of respect for him. As soon as the game was over, I apologized to him and the team, especially the younger guys for them having to see that. I felt like I got hit in the nose and my nose was bleeding and he had took me out so I was really upset about it.
“When I apologized to Jeff, he said, ‘You don’t have to apologize.’ He knows. He’s been a player. I hate that it had to be televised like just because it seemed worse than what it was.”
Hornacek, via Coro:
“He was mad about it and I took him out and that’s the way it is,” Hornacek said. “He’s fine. We’re all competing for the game. He said some thing sin the locker room to the guys. All good and you move on.”
It’s just as likely Morris was benched because he couldn’t control himself enough to play soundly as it was any type of punishment. Hornacek’s players seem to respect him, and I bet both sides put this behind them.