The Phoenix Suns lost at home to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, 104-96, after nearly overcoming a 22-point deficit. However, the loss was far from the most concerning development for the 12-19 Suns.
The sour relationship between Markieff Morris and the franchise took another step in the wrong direction during the failed comeback effort when Morris reportedly tossed a towel in the direction of head coach Jeff Hornacek in the fourth quarter.
According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, "With 9:47 to play and Denver leading 84-75, Morris was taken out of the game and he threw the towel while barking at Hornacek. Hornacek picked up the towel and threw it back Morris' way with his own upset words for him."
Coro added, "Hornacek said the Suns staff will discuss possible discipline."
Morris asked for a trade in the offseason and is no longer a starter. In fact, he only played 12 minutes and finished with six points as the third power forward off the bench for a Suns team that has gone 5-14 in its last 19 games.
Hornacek discussed his decision not to play Morris after the towel incident, per Coro: "He's mad about not playing. I look at the stat sheet. He's a minus-13 in 12 minutes. So there, I took him out. ... He thinks he's better than that. Show me."
Morris was averaging 11 points and five rebounds a night coming into Wednesday's game, but he hasn't played more than 25 minutes since Dec. 4 against the Washington Wizards.
Coro pointed out this isn't the first drama between Morris and Hornacek:
In January, Marcus also engaged in a shouting match during a game with Hornacek. He apologized publicly and to Hornacek after the game.
"That's between me and 'H' (Hornacek)," said Markieff, who made 2 of 8 shots and had one rebound Wednesday. "It's not for media. It's something between me and him that happened. We'll talk about it."
The drama started after Phoenix traded Morris' brother Marcus in the offseason. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Morris said, "One thing for sure, I am not going to be there. ... I'm going to be out before then, should be."
The Suns did not acquiesce to Morris' trade demands, although Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports recently reported the New Orleans Pelicans and Suns have discussed a deal for Morris.
Between Morris' displeasure that the Suns traded his brother in the offseason and his contemptuous relationship with his head coach, he doesn't resemble the player who averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 boards a game last season. Perhaps it would be best for all involved for Phoenix to ship off its second Morris in less than a year.