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Reports: Phoenix Suns suspend Marquese Chriss for argument with strength coach

From NBA media reports

It has been a rough year for the Phoenix Suns, who fired their coach less than two weeks into the season, and were forced to trade their second-leading scorer and starting point guard, and once again appear destined for the draft lottery this summer.

They’re giving their young players lots of rope, but Marquese Chriss took too much liberties with it and will be suspended for today’s game against the Charlotte Hornets for getting into an argument with an assistant coach.

Chriss is one of a few young Suns players who haven’t hit their stride, and you wonder if time is slowly running out. Chriss is averaging only 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.0 minutes; those aren’t the numbers Phoenix wants from someone who was a lottery pick.

Here’s Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic on what happened:

ESPN reported that Chriss will be suspended one game for a “verbal altercation” with the team’s strength coach following Friday’s 129-97 loss to the Utah Jazz. The argument was over a postgame routine Chriss is supposed to do, ESPN said.

Neither McDonough nor interim coach Jay Triano would talk specifically about the incident.

But Triano said Chriss is not suspended. McDonough said Chriss is being given a “cooling off” period. Asked if Chriss has been fined, McDonough said, “We’re handling all of that internally.”

Chriss was not at Saturday’s practice.

“He’s a good kid who had a bad moment,” McDonough said. “We look forward to seeing him Monday morning and turning the page.”

“It’s a violation of team rules,” Triano added. “We’re going to keep it in house. We’re not discussing it any more and we’ve dealt with it.”

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