Jermaine O'Neal and Suns GM Lance Blanks Reportedly Involved in Heated Exchange
The news comes from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Suns GM Lance Blanks and center Jermaine O'Neal engaged in a loud, expletive-laced confrontation on Monday, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 22, 2013
Jermaine O'Neal missed practice today with an unstated medical issue and said he is unable to make the #Suns trip to Sacramento.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) January 22, 2013
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.
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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