In Game 7 against the Mavericks last May, the Suns coach Monty Williams center bench Deandre Ayton, who ended up playing just 17 minutes in a crushing loss to Phoenix. When asked about it after the game, Williams said, “This is an internal matter.”
According to Ayton, Ayton and Williams have not spoken since.
DeAndre Ayton said he and Monty Williams didn’t talk about the touchline incident in Game 7: pic.twitter.com/Z9rHYHr5yX
— Gerald Burguet (@GeraldBourguet) September 27, 2022
Yes. Remember, this includes the summer when the Suns didn’t offer Ayton a maximum contract extension, so he went and got it from the Pacers, and the Suns instantly agreed. Ayton didn’t seem thrilled to be back in Phoenix for Media Day, and he was pretty casual with his coach.
Ayton was asked if he was happy here, and he said, “Yes, I’m fine. When I am between these lines, I just work. I don’t play for myself. I have an organization on my chest and a name on my back that I am supposed to represent. I’m just here to work, man.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) September 27, 2022
That’s what every fan wants to hear – “it’s just my job.”
Journalists asked Williams about this, and he fought back by stating that he hadn’t talked to many players yet.
“I haven’t talked to a lot of guys.”
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) September 27, 2022
It’s only the first day of training camp, but there are a lot of red flags around the Suns: Owner Robert Sarver has been suspended and is selling the team, Jay Crowder not in camp, waiting for a trade, and right now there isn’t much communication between the team’s star center and her coach.
Maybe it’s all for nothing. Maybe the Suns will come out onto the court, Chris Paul looks younger Devin Booker looks like Devin Booker and it doesn’t matter. But what looked like a stable situation not so long ago is now causing a lot of fear ahead of the season, and that should worry Suns fans.
In 2004, Robert Sarver bought the Phoenix Suns for a then record $401 million.
When Sarver sells the team now — he was spurred into doing so after the backlash sparked by an NBA report that uncovered an 18-year pattern of bigotry, misogyny and a toxic workplace — he will make a huge profit.
Suns is now valued at $3 billion or more. reported by Ramona Shelburne and Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
There will be no shortage of contenders for the team, with league sources predicting a franchise valuation of more than $3 billion now that revenue has rebounded from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and with a new TV rights and CBA deal on the horizon. Sarver bought the team for just over $400 million in 2004.
Saver currently owns 35% of the Suns (the largest share), but reports say that his role as managing partner allows him to sell the entire team (minority owners should comply, although they will also make a nice profit). Sarver also decides who to sell the team to, not the NBA or other owners.
Early rumors of buyers included Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle), Bob Iger (former CEO of Disney), Lauren Powell Jobs (widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, she owns 20% of Washington Wizards) and others. There have been no reports of negotiations yet, and Sarver does not need to rush the deadlines.
Meanwhile, the rival Suns team tries to focus on the season despite the owner selling the team. Jay Crowder not be in training camp and insist on a trade, and Deandre Ayton doesn’t seem happy to be back with the Suns.
Eager to get leverage to trade this offseason, Kevin Duran put forward an ultimatum “either the coach and the grandmaster left, or I.”
Now coach Steve Nash (and GM Sean Marks) are back in Brooklyn on the same team and trying to create an opponent together. Awkward? Not if you ask Nash what ESPN’s Nick Friedell did..
“We’re fine,” Nash said after the Nets’ first official practice of the season on Tuesday. “Were good. Since we talked, it’s like nothing has changed. I have a long history with Kevin. I love this guy. Families have problems. We had a moment, and it’s over. That’s what happens. It’s a common situation in the league.
“We were all hurt, seething, going through what we went through last year, not being able to overcome all those hardships. Sometimes you lose perspective because you expect to win, but the reality is that we were able to talk and discuss what we can improve from last year. And also keep perspective. We’ve been through a lot of things.”
First, what else was Nash going to say? He knows the power dynamics in the NBA, and Durant has a lot more leverage than him — not enough to get Nash fired this summer, but still more than the coach.
Secondly, Nash could tell the truth from his point of view. NBA players and coaches understand best that this is a business and things are rarely personal. Grudges don’t hold like fans think (most of the time). Nash saw Durant’s action for what he was – an attempt to create pressure – and can intellectually brush it off, turn to KD and talk about the future.
It calls into question one of the Nets’ biggest problems last season – resilience and cohesion. Do the Nets have the will to fight hard and win as a team? Individually Durant, Kyrie Irving, Nash and others have shown such resilience in the past, but it wasn’t that hard for the team to break the Nets’ will last season. Is their relationship strong enough, is their will strong enough this season?
Looks like we’ll find out sooner. If the wheels come off the Nets season, it looks like it will come sooner, and things could turn into a real fire in the dumpster by Christmas. Or maybe Nash is right and they are stronger than we think.
Chicago media day speechBulls head coach Billy Donovan said he would select his starting point guard during training camp. Lonzo Ball He was expected to start again, but he recently had arthroscopic surgery on a problematic knee and raised some eyebrows on media day when he said he couldn’t run or jump. Simply put, there is no guarantee that we will see him at all this season.
Donovan is lucky…