Tim Kempton: Suns’ young players ‘need to be held accountable’

Feb 26, 2013, 1:06 AM | Updated: 1:07 am
LISTEN: Tim Kempton, Suns Analyst

When the Phoenix Suns brought Lindsey Hunter on board as interim head coach, the perception was the team would work to bring along the likes of Michael Beasley, Kendall Marshall and Wesley Johnson.

Suns’ color analyst Tim Kempton told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Show Monday while the hope was to see how these players might fit into the organization’s long-term plans, they won’t just be handed extra playing time without proving their worth.

“No matter what happens there has to be some accountability and responsibility so you can’t just open up the doors and let the inmates run the asylum,” Kempton said. “If those guys aren’t doing what they’re being asked to do from the practice court to the game court, I am 100% behind Lindsey Hunter because it’s not a free for all.”

While the Suns said publicly they would like to give their young players more playing time, Kempton said the guys have a responsibility to show that they are deserving. And thus far, that hasn’t necessarily been the case.

In the Suns’ third consecutive loss on Sunday to the Spurs, Marshall scored just three points in 4:43 minutes on the court, while Beasley and Johnson didn’t score a single point in under four minutes of play.

Kempton said that even though the Suns have focused their attention on next season, they aren’t going to reward players with more minutes if they don’t show they are committed to abiding by the team’s philosophy.

“Just because Lindsey Hunter and the front office are saying ‘hey we’re going in a different direction,’ you still have to come out and be a professional and do what your coaching staff asks you, do what your teammates need you to do so they can trust you on the floor.

“I think with Kendall [Marshall] and Michael Beasley, is that they need to be held accountable. You just can’t go out there and do whatever you want to do. You have to go out there and do what the team is asking of you in that team structure.”

Beasley has ruffled some feathers with some of his comments to the media, including one in which he said he’s “giving it my all” when it doesn’t always appear that way on the court.

Kempton said the disconnect with Beasley and the Suns stems from the forward’s lack of maturity.

“It’s just goes back to the immaturity,” Kempton stated. “I think Michael Beasley is the poster child for AAU basketball. Here’s a guy that was extremely talented at the high school level and ran over people. Here’s a guy that was extremely talented at the college level and ran over people. Well he can’t do that anymore and that immaturity comes through night in and night out. Not having that leadership, that person around him that he trusts in to take leadership from to be a role model to Michael Beasley.”

The fact that Beasley, and Marshall and Johnson for that matter, haven’t stepped it up when given every opportunity to earn those extra minutes is worrisome to Kempton.

“From this point on your on stage, you are auditioning not only for the Phoenix Suns, but you are auditioning for the other teams out there in the NBA that follow you and have pro scouts out there every game looking to see if you’ll fit into their organization,” Kempton said. “It is a little bit disappointing, but in the same sense it’s kind of eye opening as to what direction the Phoenix Suns can take in the future from the guys that are here.”

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Torrey Craig #0 after scoring against the Utah Jaz...
Arizona Sports

Suns’ Deandre Ayton probable to return Monday vs. Jazz, Markkanen questionable

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton was ruled probable to return to the lineup Monday night against the Utah Jazz.
1 day ago
Photo by Phoenix Suns....
Character Counts

Phoenix Suns Charities awards $275,000 in grants to 19 Valley nonprofits

Phoenix Suns Charities recently awarded $275,000 in grants to 19 Arizona nonprofits as part of its latest funding cycle during the 2022-23 NBA season.
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against De'Anthony Melton #8 of the Philadelph...
Kellan Olson

Suns find winning breakthrough vs. 76ers, Devin Booker stays hot

The Phoenix Suns finally found their breakthrough on Saturday to return to winning ways and avoid a collapse in the second half.
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after a three-point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers ...
Jake Anderson

Devin Booker puts up MVP-esque performance in Suns’ win over 76ers, Joel Embiid

Suns' Devin Booker put up a MVP-esque performance in Phoenix's 125-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night at Footprint Center.
2 days ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives on Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton during the f...
Wills Rice

76ers’ James Harden out, Joel Embiid starts vs. Suns; Deandre Ayton out

The 76ers listed guard James Harden (left Achilles) as out, while MVP contender Joel Embiid (right calf) will start Saturday vs. the Suns.
2 days ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns dribbling the ball get fouled by De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacrament...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns lose cool again, drop 3rd straight vs. Kings

No matter how well they play at the moment, the Phoenix Suns seemingly can't avoid losing control of a game at some point in the second half.
3 days ago
Tim Kempton: Suns’ young players ‘need to be held accountable’