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HomeSportsSuns' Deandre Ayton downplays spat with head coach Monty Williams: 'We a...

Suns’ Deandre Ayton downplays spat with head coach Monty Williams: ‘We a family’

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The Suns have had their fair share of ups and downs since falling to the Mavericks by 33 points at home in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals last season.

It was during that contest that head coach Monty Williams elected to bench starting center Deandre Ayton, who only played 17 minutes and 27 seconds during the team’s biggest game of the year. After the Suns failed to reach a contract extension with the former No. 1 overall pick ahead of the 2021-22 season, Williams’ decision to bench Ayton in Game 7 caused questions to arise as the 24-year-old entered restricted free agency during the 2022 offseason.

The Suns didn’t offer Ayton a contract during free agency, instead waiting for another team to make the first move, knowing they could match the offer. The Pacers extended Ayton an offer sheet worth $133 million over four years that Phoenix quickly matched.

After the dust settled, Ayton said he understood that this is a business, but he also told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears that he respected the way the Pacers handled negotiations.

“I got to give a lot of respect to the Pacers organization,” Ayton told ESPN in July. “They were aggressive from the start and showing a lot of love. And we agreed to a max offer sheet. The Suns matched. Now, I’m back in Phoenix as a Sun.

“I’m happy. The process is over. I put all this behind me and focus on chasing a championship this upcoming season with my brothers.”

The Suns got out to a hot start this season, quickly reclaiming the No. 1 spot in the West. But a recent skid — losing six of their last 10 games, including one on Tuesday to a Wizards team riding a 10-game losing streak — caused tension to boil over again.

What happened between Ayton and Williams, and what was said about the spat after the game?


Deandre Ayton and Monty Williams argument, explained

On Tuesday, the Suns lost at home to a Wizards team that had dropped 10 games in a row — the second-longest losing streak in the NBA this season.

Ayton had one of his best games of the season, going for 30 points and 13 rebounds, but personalities started to clash during the close game in Phoenix.

Ayton and his teammate Mikal Bridges were seen arguing with each other on the floor during the game, and that spat continued with coach Williams in the team’s next huddle.

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Given the situation between Ayton and Williams during last year’s loss in Game 7, this argument dug up some bad memories for Suns fans.

After the game, Ayton downplayed the argument between him and his head coach, claiming Williams was just trying to navigate the situation between him and Bridges.

“We a family, so he knows how to talk to his boys and his boys just know how to communicate. Obviously, the whole world see it but it’s really all love and just getting us back to regroup and take out the confusion,” Ayton told AZCentral’s Duane Rankin.

“…It gets emotional but like I was saying, this is a family. We know each other, we know each other’s personalities, everyone just got to see us intensified in the moment. … Coach clarified it up in the huddle where we were all exchanging words and trying to get back to playing winning basketball.”

Williams also downplayed the situation, saying it was the whole team arguing, not just Ayton.

“It was the whole team in those moments. It wasn’t just Deandre, it was the whole group out there not executing properly,” he told AZCentral’s Rankin.

“It was a bit of frustration, but that happens. That was not an isolated one person or one player thing.”

Credit: sportingnews.com

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