Phoenix Suns

Losing streak causing friction in Suns’ locker room?

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The Phoenix Suns are once again in the NBA basement, and frustrations might be boiling over between the team’s two young stars.

Sports can be a lot of fun when your team is winning.

The problem for the Phoenix Suns, though, is that wins are a very difficult thing to come by. They are 4-22, easily the worst team in the NBA right now, and they are desperately trying to snap an eight-game losing streak.

When your team is surrounded by a losing atmosphere, frustrations can start to boil over. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton are the two biggest stars on the team, but seeing as how nothing is going right for the Suns, some friction might be arising.

The pair exchanged words in the locker room following Phoenix’s 108-86 loss in Portland on Thursday — the second game in a row in which the Suns scored just nine points in the first quarter — and it’s hard to imagine they were discussing anything good.

Afterward, Ayton commented to the media.

“I’m an emotional guy, too,” Ayton said, via AZCentral. “I start to feel stuff. When I don’t sense it and the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is. Nineteen-year vet or 15 years, it don’t matter. We all have a job to do and I have to step it up a little more, too.”

To be fair, Booker didn’t play in the game against the Trail Blazers. But even if he had, it’s unlikely that it would’ve made up the difference in a 22-point loss.

Based on his comments, it seems like Ayton — a rookie who was selected first overall out of Arizona in the 2018 NBA Draft — is suggesting there needs to be more veteran leadership on this team. The Suns are a relatively young team overall, with the exception of 33-year-old Trevor Ariza. But Booker, in his fourth NBA season, has enough experience dealing with the spotlight that he should be able to provide the necessary guidance for the first and second-year players still getting acclimated to the league.

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With Booker being the competitive player that he is, it’s hard to imagine him not wanting to step up and fill that leadership role. But the Suns are once again serving as the cellar dwellers of the NBA, and thus plenty of negative emotions are surfacing.

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