Hornacek, Suns moving on with Markieff Morris

Posted at 10:04 PM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 01:04:26-04

They've had their differences on and off the court in the last year.

But there's one area in which embattled Suns forward Markieff Morris and team management seem to agree: It's time to move on.

Check out what Markieff had to say about the Suns during Monday's Media Day session.

"Do people make mistakes? Sure, we all do. But ultimately we know he loves the game of basketball, he's a great player and he's going to help us out," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek told ABC15 during the team's Media Day session Monday.

Morris said Monday that he wants to be in Phoenix and play for the Suns, which ran counter to his demand to be traded during the summer.

The Suns' first-round draft pick in 2011 has rubbed the team and its fans the wrong way with his on- and off-court actions last season and during the offseason.

But as far as Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is concerned, that's all water under the bridge.

"It's a new year. We look at it as a clean slate," McDonough told ABC15.

"I think if he continues to say the right things and comes out and is a great teammate and practices hard and plays hard, hopefully the fans will forgive him and he'll earn their trust back, and I think he's very capable of doing that."

Hornacek said fans shouldn't judge Morris based on the perception of him during the past year.

"Once you get to hang with somebody day in, day out, you know what kind of person they are," Hornacek said.

"He's a competitor. He wants to start playing games and help this team get to the playoffs, so we're excited."

McDonough is looking forward to placing the focus back on Morris' on-court abilities. The 6-foot-10 power forward had the best season of his NBA career during 2014-15, notching career highs in points (15.3) and rebounds (6.2) per game.

"It's been a little bit frustrating, and I understand why it's happened, but Markieff's comments and some of the things off the court have overshadowed his play," McDonough said. "He was really one of the better players in the league last year down the stretch and in close games.

"Obviously we'd prefer that he didn't make some of the comments that he made over the summer, but I think he did a great job (Monday) addressing that, and kind of moving on."