The most interesting sporting event of this weekend is not going to involve the Sun Devils or Cardinals. Yeah, those football games are very important no doubt, but I believe the most interesting thing goes down at Veteran’s Coliseum Saturday afternoon when the Suns host a scrimmage in the old Madhouse on McDowell.
There’s going to be former Suns’ legends in the house. A Gorilla in the stands. Some new players on the floor. And an elephant in the room. It’s fascinating to think about how Suns fans are going to respond to Markieff Morris. Will they cheer him on? Welcome him back? Tell him to go join his brother in Detroit?
Here’s my advice to Suns fans. Give Markieff the benefit of the doubt and take him at his word that he wants to be part of this team. I was at Media Day on Monday, and it was a good move to get him on the podium and address the issues that clearly were at the forefront of the Suns offseason. Did Markieff come across as sincere, believable, and enthusiastic? Not really, but maybe he was nervous.
I do know this. Though Markieff might not know it, I think he will be in a better situation with his brother 2,000 miles away in Detroit. They spent too much time together in my opinion. Yes, I know they are twins, and incredibly close, but living together, practicing together, traveling together and spending almost all day every day together is not good. He needs to surround himself with some different, more positive influences and that should naturally just happen now.
There is a fair amount of talent on the Suns roster, with some solid veteran leadership finally and young players that are maturing and growing up. The potential for them to be a playoff team is very real if they don’t go out of their way to screw it up. But I also think everyone connected with the organization knows the first step this season is to be likable. That would be a big step forward from last year, and winning will be the best way to make that happen.
So give Markieff a chance to prove that he meant what he said on Monday, Suns fans. He could have a fantastic season if he just concentrates on playing and being a potential All Star. It’s really up to him now.
Plus, he has a great role model right here in the Valley if he wants to see Exhibit A on how to completely re-do your image and become a true star in the process; the reigning NFC Defensive Player of The Week Tyrann Mathieu of the Cardinals.
It can be done. If a player wants to do it, and it is genuine and organic. I have a feeling Suns fans are going to do their part. They want and deserve to see some entertaining and winning ball.
The ball is now really in Markieff’s court to write the next chapter in this story. Let’s hope he doesn’t do what he would have done last season; take that ball, slam it to the floor and get a technical foul!