Markieff Morris Calls out Suns Fans for Lack of Enthusiasm at Home Games

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 1, 2015

Feb 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns fans aren't going to like what forward Markieff Morris had to say about them.

But the big guy isn't really thrilled with them, either.

Following the Suns' humbling 101-74 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, Morris sounded off on the team's supporters. He said the lift this team needs from its backers isn't coming, and the Suns aren't getting an edge by taking the floor inside the US Airways Center, per Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

"It felt like we had more San Antonio [fans] than we did Phoenix fans tonight," Morris said, per Bright Side of the Suns' Bryan Gibberman. "... We need the fans to win games. We need the energy from them to win a lot of games, and we need that every night, not just certain nights."

Audio of the entire interview is available below.

Phoenix sits 22nd in average attendance (16,669) and 23rd in attendance percentage (90.5) this season, per ESPN.com. Those rankings are almost identical to where they were last season24th and tied for 21st, respectively—when the Suns went 26-15 at home.

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Those numbers obviously don't show fan behavior, so maybe it is a little less zealous this time around. If it is, Morris isn't wrong to ask for more enthusiasm.

This team definitely needs some kind of spark.

The Suns' loss Saturday was their ninth in their last 12 games. They have now dropped to 10th in the Western Conference and have a worse home record (17-13) than the nine teams in front of them.

Any extra fuel they can add to their fire would be more than welcome. Morris took his pleas to Twitter, professing his team's commitment to the fanbase:

But the players have to give the fans something to support. And that hasn't been happening lately.

As tough as this recent stretch has been, Saturday brought about some new lows.

They set a franchise record for the fewest points in a half with 24, per Coro:

They trailed by more points than they have all season, per Coro:

They narrowly avoided setting the franchise mark for the lowest point total in a game (68) by putting up 33 in the final frame. On the night, Phoenix shot just 29.8 percent from the field, went 5-of-16 beyond the arc and had more turnovers (18) than assists (13).

No one is cheering on that type of performance in the desert or anywhere else.

Frustration is mounting in Phoenix for the players and fans.

The Suns shook up their roster with a pair of moves at the NBA trade deadline and have gone 2-4 since. The fact that the key pieces of their return package for an All-NBA third-teamer were two first-round picks that won't change hands before 2017, does nothing to instill confidence that things will improve anytime soon.

Until this team shows it has the fight needed to get back into the postseason race, eruptions could continue coming few and far between.

Morris has a right to ask for the fans' assistance. But he and his teammates are ultimately responsible for what takes place on the court—and, by extension, in the stands.