Suns suspend forward Markieff Morris for 2 games
PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns suspended forward Markieff Morris two games without pay Thursday for what was termed ''conduct detrimental to the team.''
The suspension came a day after Morris threw a towel at coach Jeff Hornacek in the fourth quarter of a 104-96 home loss to the Denver Nuggets.
''My frustration got the best of me last night,'' Morris tweeted Thursday. ''It won't happen again. I apologize to Jeff. My teammates told me I hit coach with the towel. In no way was that towel intended for him. I just want to help my team win so much. That's my focus moving forward.''
He included the hashtag ''Foe'' - short for ''family over everything.'' Morris has repeatedly tweeted his desire in the offseason to be traded after the Suns dealt twin brother Marcus to the Detroit Pistons.
Morris had six points on 2-of-8 shooting and one rebound in 12 minutes against Denver. The Suns were outscored by 13 points when he was on the floor.
''He's mad about not playing,'' Hornacek said after the game. ''I look at the stat sheet, he's a minus-13 in 12 minutes. So there I took him out. He thinks he is better than that. Well, show me.''
The suspension will cost Morris $145,455. He will miss home games Saturday night against Philadelphia and Monday night against Cleveland.
''We try not to be punitive with these kind of things,'' general manager Ryan McDonough said Thursday. ''We try to be fair. That's why we consulted with the league. Sometimes, these things do get emotional. We asked for their opinion. There was precedent for these kind of situations but we would've done the same thing if it was any of the other 14 players on the roster.''
Morris is averaging 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 23.5 minutes in 22 games this season, his fifth with the Suns after being selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft after three years at Kansas.
The forward has played poorly through most of the season, losing his starting job several weeks ago. He sat out several games due to coach's decision.
The Morris twins were indicted this year by a Maricopa County grand jury on felony aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a man outside a city recreation center.
According to a Phoenix police report, Erik Hood said five people including the Morris brothers repeatedly punched and kicked him. Police say it is alleged that Hood was assaulted for sending an inappropriate text message to the Morris brothers' mother.