The Phoenix Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton and star guard Devin Booker, were reportedly engaged in a verbal confrontation as members of the media walked into the locker room following Phoenix’s 108-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday,
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.
“I’m an emotional guy, too,” Ayton said. “I start to feel stuff. When I don’t sense it and the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is. Nineteen-year vet or 15 years, it don’t matter. We all have a job to do and I have to step it up a little more, too.”
Ayton had a rough night with just 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting while coming off the bench, while Booker remains out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.
The Suns are currently sitting at 4-21, and the centerpieces of their future are feuding. Losing can take a toll on players, and by the looks of it, losing is really starting to affect these guys, and the way they feel about each other.
The Suns will be fine if they can just weather this storm.
Booker leads the team with 23.5 points and 6.7 assists per game. Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, is the only rookie averaging a double-double with 15.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in 25 games.
Just a bump in the road.