Jermaine O'Neal and Suns GM Lance Blanks Reportedly Involved in Heated Exchange

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Jermaine O'Neal and Suns GM Lance Blanks Reportedly Involved in Heated Exchange
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns center Jermaine O'Neal was reportedly involved in an "expletive-laced confrontation" with GM Lance Blanks on Monday.

The news comes from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:

O'Neal, according to The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro, will now be without the team when it travels to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Wednesday:

The veteran big man has quietly been a crucial part in what little success the Suns (13-28) have had this season.

While his numbers on the surface aren't exactly eye-popping, O'Neal, on a per-minute basis, has vastly improved his scoring, rebounding, distributing and thefts from his last season in Boston

Moreover, the 34-year-old continues to be a dominant force defensively. 

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

His 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes ranks him seventh in the NBA among players who have logged at least 500 total minutes on the floor, while his block percentage of 5.4 is good enough for 11th (via Basketball Reference). 

O'Neal may have zero starts under his belt, but it's clear that he has established himself as an important role player off the bench. 

Nevertheless, this is just more proof of the downward spiral the Suns organization seems to currently be in. 

It was just four days ago that head coach Alvin Gentry was fired, and now the general manager is getting into a shouting match with the team's most experienced (by far) player.

That's not exactly a positive sign for team morale. 

We'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known regarding O'Neal's status. 

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