Suns shouting match? Jermaine O'Neal, GM Lance Blanks get into it

Count Jermaine O’Neal among the “old guard” unhappy with the new changes in Planet Orange. The Suns’ backup big man reportedly got into a post-practice shouting match with general manager Lance Blanks, according to Yahoo! Sports insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

O’Neal, according to a report from The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro, was already scheduled to miss Phoenix’s Wednesday road game against Sacramento with an “unstated medical issue.” That issue may have been more emotional than physical if the argument was as vehement as Wojnarowski’s sources indicated.


Jan.  18 – Suns fire Gentry

Jan.  20 – Suns promote Hunter

Jan. 20 –  Majerle leaves Suns

Jan. 21 – O’Neal, Blanks argue

With the Suns in complete disarray (13-28, worst in the Western Conference), Blanks and the rest of Suns management decided the team was in need of a different direction, though apparently not everyone is pleased with the ultimate decision on how to go about it.

The confrontation is the latest of several reported rifts from within the organization following the hiring of head coach Alvin Gentry and the promotion of Lindsey Hunter, formerly the team’s player development director. Hunter’s hiring came at the expense of more experienced candidates in Suns assistants Dan Majerle and Elston Turner.

Majerle has already left the team after being passed over, and Turner may not be far behind.

Hunter’s prior position in player development has many thinking he will dole out more playing time to the Suns’ younger players, including second-year forward Markieff Morris and rookie point guard Kendall Marshall.

At age 34, O’Neal is the team’s oldest player and just one of two older than 30 (Luis Scola is the other).

Tags: Lindsey Hunter

  • Scott

    @Tony -

    It’s an unfortunate thing, but it seems that often people who are in the middle of a situation lack perspective from outside, and even when they think they have it, they don’t.

  • Scott

    @john -

    I think Burns and Gambo had decent questions, but perhaps they couldn’t follow up on them properly without seeming extremely ungracious. Sarver is a guest, and his talks bring listeners, so they find the line and go up to it but they wouldn’t want to cross it.

    I think the notion of Blanks being an excellent talent evaluator is one of those things that can be called into question.

    Also, Sarver mentioned that he keeps their draft charts and evaluates them years later for accuracy. Well, while I know a lot of people get their draft projections wrong, IMO it’s not all THAT hard to pick the winners.

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  • Tim

    That’s your problem Beasley, you suck and don’t care about nothin but whose who have been productive all over town. Dum Ass!!!!!!

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