Former Suns forward Markieff Morris, who was drafted by the Suns a year after that playoff loss and played five never-forgettable seasons in the Valley, started for the Lakers in Game Five in place of the injured Anthony Davis.
In the most important game of the year for the Lakers, he scored 4 points, grabbed a single rebound and was benched after 10 minutes of lackluster play.
“This was a bad loss,” Morris ranted to media afterward. “I said when I came in the locker room, ‘they disrespecting us’. They punched us and we ain’t punching back. That’s how I felt all night.”
The Suns did not, in fact, show any outward disrespect while kicking the Lakers’ asses. The Suns went about their business and simply demolished the Lakers on the court.
They did not clown a defender by isolating him in front of their bench while the bench unit, led by Andre Drummond, mimicked LeBron’s post-up move.
Here’s the whole fun sequence for you.
The Lakers went up 91-70 at that point in the fourth quarter of Game Three on their way to a 2-1 series lead. The whole Lakers bench was mocking the Suns. THAT’S what I call disrespect.
In two-plus games since that mockery, the Suns have outscored the Lakers by 45 and now lead the playoff series 3-2.
It’s rich that Markieff Morris thinks it’s the Suns who are disrespecting the Lakers.
Foolishness, in fact.
This is the same Markieff Morris who felt disrespected when the Suns traded his brother in the summer of 2015, responded by demanding a trade that didn’t happen, coming back for the 2015-16 season in a huffy huff, tanking his and the teammates season with the poorest of poor play, finally getting a trade at the deadline, and bouncing around the league the last five years on others’ coattails.
And all that childish drama — dare I say ‘disrespect’ — was AFTER he and his brother self-destructed for two years in Phoenix before his brother was traded away. Take a walk down memory lane with me. Really, you’ll enjoy it. I promise.
Markieff Morris will never be the guy who earns the other team’s respect by beating them at basketball. His early career with the Suns was littered with complaints about the referees, teammates, opponents, coaches... and even the fans in the arena.
The Morrii brothers infamously said more than once in public — and a lot more often behind closed doors — that Phoenix has the worst fans in the NBA. His brother Marcus even said after a blowout home loss to the Spurs, where the Suns scored only 72 points, that they were weighed down in the game by the lack of fan support. He said ON MIC, at center court, in his postgame interview for TV.
Now Keef got to watch how Suns fans react to a GOOD team, a team that respects their fans and loves the support they provide.
“It reminded me of those games that I used to come here and coach against these guys or play against them early in my career,” head coach Monty Williams said after the game of the fan support. “Our guys fed off of that, for sure. And when you’re playing that hard and defending like that and you got your crowd behind you, it gives you a little bit more juice.
“So I’m grateful for the fans that came out tonight,” he continued. “And I can’t reiterate — I’m grateful for the safety that we have here in this arena. Our fans cheer for us but they also cheer for us with a great deal of respect and based on what’s going on around the league, I don’t take that for granted. I’m glad this is a special place to play, but it’s also a place where the opposing team knows they can be safe. And that’s a credit to our fans.”
Markieff Morris would do well to learn the true definition of the word disrespect.