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Phoenix Suns’ Isaiah Thomas says refs ‘talk just like players’

LISTEN: Isaiah Thomas- Suns point guard

Fresh off a game without a technical foul, the issue hasn’t been buried just yet. The Phoenix Suns still lead the league in player technical fouls with 36, most of them due to arguing with officials. But some of those technicals might have been a little ticky-tack.

“Guys are saying stuff under their breath and then the ref hears it and then you get a technical,” Isaiah Thomas told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “So it’s not like guys are chasing after a referee and we got to go run and hold him back.”

One recent technical foul even came after a beneficial call for the Suns, when Markieff Morris received a ‘T’ against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday before going to the stripe for two free throws. Could this mean the Suns just have a bad reputation with the refs?

“They talk just like players,” Thomas said. “They’re going to the game like, ‘Man, this Suns team might be talking tonight.’ That’s just how it is.

“Everything around the NBA gets around. If they give you a label, I mean, that’s your label.”

With all of the technical fouls piling up, head coach Jeff Hornacek instituted a rule that a player will sit the rest of the game after picking up a technical foul. Goran Dragic and Morris were the first victims of the rule, causing the Suns to play without two of their top scorers in key moments.

“Guys got to be smarter than that,” Thomas said. “I mean at the end of the day, you got to know technicals do hurt your team, especially if you’re a key player on our team.”

Thomas, who has gotten two technical fouls this year himself, knows that the team is battling for the playoffs and won’t get there if the arguing continues.

“We definitely got to mature a little more as a team and know that at the end of the day, we need each and every guy on this team and we can’t be throwing out these technicals each and every game,” Thomas said.