PHOENIX — His comments were made more than a week ago, speaking out about a perceived lack of fan support.
Now, it’s the fans’ turn to speak.
What will their reaction be to the criticism thrust upon them by Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris? Will he be booed? Will he be cheered? Perhaps a mixed reception when he steps in front of them during pregame introductions?
“I expect whatever they’re going to give me, honestly,” Morris said after shootaround ahead of Monday night’s game against Golden State.
Would Morris be disappointed if the response was negative?
“It is what it is,” he said. “I said a couple of things that I shouldn’t have. It is what it is. I’ll take it.”
So, he regrets his comments following the 27-point loss to San Antonio on Feb. 28, eight days and four games ago.
“No,” he said. “I shouldn’t have, but I said them and you can’t take them back.”
Morris and the Suns (33-31) return home after splitting a four-game road trip that did little to change their 10th-place standing in the Western Conference. They trail New Orleans by 1.5 and Oklahoma City by 2.5 games in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot.
If the Suns hope to make another push in an attempt to end a four-year postseason drought, then the rest of March may present them with their best shot.
Beginning with NBA-leading Golden State (49-12), the Suns play five straight and nine of their next 10 at US Airways Center.
“We need them every night,” Morris said of the fans. “It’s not just tonight. It don’t matter what team it’s against. We need our fans every night. We always need them to be behind us.”
And whether they are or not, Morris, who averaged a team-best 17.8 points on 51.7 percent shooting on the trip, intends to do his part to win their support back with his play on the court.
“I’m not going to sit up here and apologize a thousand times. It’s not going to work,” he said. “The only thing you can do is earn it back on the court. I’m a professional basketball player. That’s what I do for my profession.”