Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek: Technical foul policy allows for leadership development

Jan 27, 2015, 10:11 PM | Updated: 10:11 pm
...
LISTEN: Jeff Hornacek, Suns head coach

The Phoenix Suns recently implemented a policy which is meant to help the team cut back on its league-leading 36 player technical fouls. If a player earns a technical foul, he’ll be benched for the remainder of the game.

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek felt forced to institute such a measure, given the team’s technical foul epidemic.

And while much has been made of the policy after it was first showcased in the third quarter disciplining of Markieff Morris in Sunday’s 120-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Hornacek says it’s meant to expedite long-term growth in the organization.

“(GM) Ryan McDonough was hired and when he hired me, we talked about winning a championship and I don’t believe you can get to that level constantly arguing with the ref,” Hornacek told the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday.

He was redundant with this message, making it clear — the policy was for the future, not the present, and for his players, not for his personal development as a disciplinarian.

“It’s not just a quick — we’re not just looking to fix it for this year,” he said. “This is something we want to try to establish as we go forward in this process of growing and making our run. It’s not all about just getting into the playoffs this year.”

Individually, too, Hornacek believes this stringent new set of rules dictating how his players speak with officials will not only earn them calls — as he believes he’s seen with Eric Bledsoe of late — but will give them opportunities to develop leadership traits.

P.J. Tucker, 29, is the oldest of the Suns’ nine most used players and the team, in general, is one of the younger in the league.

“We’d like them to kind of control themselves,” he continued. “You know, if one guy’s getting on the refs, then one of his teammates goes over there and pulls him aside and says, you know, ‘Enough. Let it go.’

“But we don’t have the leaders quite yet, so we’re trying to develop them.”

Phoenix Suns

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) battles Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) for the ball...
Jake Anderson

Suns’ Deandre Ayton ‘disappointed’ on contract but focused on Finals run

The dispute between the Suns and Deandre Ayton's contract extension comes down to the year amount, with the center wanting a five-year deal.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks to pass as Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon, right, de...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns begin season looking out of sorts in loss to Nuggets

The Phoenix Suns did not start the 2021-22 season with a win, and they didn't look like themselves all that much against the Denver Nuggets.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass as Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (...
Dan Bickley

Suns’ season starts off uneasy, just like Deandre Ayton’s contract situation

Welcome to a new year in Phoenix, when Deandre Ayton’s contract status is part of every narrative, one that’s not going away anytime soon.
2 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@BALLYSPORTSAZ)...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Suns raise 2021 Western Conference Champions banner

The Suns unveiled the third Western Conference Champions banner in franchise history, placing it next to the previous two from 1976 and 1993.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks to pass around Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets d...
Jake Anderson

James Jones: Suns preferred deal shorter than 5 years for Deandre Ayton

Suns GM James Jones said Deandre Ayton wanted nothing less than five years, but the team wasn't interested in offering a contract that long.
2 days ago
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) becomes entangled with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during ...
Arizona Sports

Where do the Phoenix Suns stack up in the NBA’s championship tier?

Listed are our preseason power rankings for the top five teams they believe will compete for the title, including the Phoenix Suns.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek: Technical foul policy allows for leadership development