The owner of the Phoenix Suns railed against the petulance and “unrealistic expectations” harbored by members of the millennial generation.
“I’m not sure it’s just the NBA,” Robert Sarver said in an interview with the Arizona Republic. “My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he can’t seem to recover from it.”
The Suns suspended Morris for “conduct detrimental to the team” after throwing a towel at head coach Jeff Hornacek during the 104-96 loss against the Denver Nuggets on December 23. Things haven’t been going well for Morris since the team traded away his twin brother before the season. Morris demanded a trade even before his suspension. The league fined him $10,000 for publicly lobbying for a trade on Twitter.
Sarver, 54, seems to think that the 26-year-old Morris and others in his generation just can’t take challenging situations. The Suns forced the former first-round pick to apologize to the team before letting him get back on the court. He played 20 minutes in a 33-point loss to the Spurs on December 30. But that’s the only game in the six since the towel-throwing incident in which Morris played.
The Suns own a nine-game losing streak, the longest currently in the NBA. They lost to the lowly Lakers, the only team in the West with a worse record, on Sunday by 20. They host the Hornets in an effort to snap the slump tomorrow night.
Sarver blames not the talent but the mindset of his players for the skid.
“I’m not sure if it’s the technology or the instant gratification of being online,” the Suns owner said. “But the other thing is, I’m not a fan of social media. I tell my kids it’s like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations. We’ve had a number of setbacks this year that have taken their toll on us, and we haven’t been resilient. Therefore, it’s up to our entire organization to step up their game.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com