PHOENIX – On the eve of the NBA trade deadline, the Phoenix Suns gathered on the practice court at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Interim head coach Earl Watson put the team through a two-hour workout in an attempt to rid some of the rust that may have built up from the All-Star break.
“It was intense, pushed them to the limit. The main thing, the attitudes were right. They understand the level we have to get to as far as being in condition and also where we’re trying to get to in these last 28 games,” said Watson, who had point guard Ronnie Price on the floor, scrimmaging for the first time since Jan. 15 toe surgery.
Fellow point guard Brandon Knight (groin) worked out on the side, including shooting drills.
The Suns (14-40) had been off the past six days, ever since losing to Golden State on Feb. 10, their ninth straight defeat and 24th in the past 26 games overall.
It was in that game in which Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin got into an altercation on the bench during the first timeout of the first quarter.
Cameras caught the two teammates arguing over the previous play apparently with things escalating to the point where Morris pushed Goodwin in the upper chest.
“It was my mistake,” said Morris, who couldn’t escape the countless replays in the aftermath. “Being as though Archie is like my little brother, I felt more bad about it once I seen it. Because I know how I am. With a little guy, once I get mad, it’s like I turn into the Hulk. It’s one of those things with my little brother, so it was a tough thing to actually see me act like that towards somebody that I got a lot of love for.”
Morris added he and Goodwin have moved past the incident; something the two had acknowledged immediately after the game.
But it goes down as just another in a series of recent missteps by Morris, who for the first time in his career has heard his name mentioned in trade rumors.
“It’s a part of the game,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve learned that in these past two years a lot of stuff is going to happen that’s not in my control. All I can do is wait, see if I’m here. If I’m not, I had a couple of great years here, and I loved it. If I am, keep on moving forward and get better.”
Morris reiterated his preference was to remain with the Suns.
“It’s weighing on my shoulders; just happy when it’s over,” he admitted.
The trade deadline is 1 p.m. Arizona time on Thursday.
The Suns host the Houston Rockets on Friday, continuing their season-long seven-game homestand.
“All we can do is control our attitude, our effort and our professionalism, and we understand that,” Watson said, referring to the impending deadline. “So whatever happens, we’re going to stay professional, we’re going to stay together because all we have are each other on the court.”
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