That led to Ayton talking about being an “emotional guy,” which showed itself when he and Booker, who is out with a hamstring injury, exchanged words with the media present in the locker room following the 10-minute cooling off period. While they didn’t scream at each other, Booker and Ayton clearly were at odds.
“I start to feel stuff,” Ayton said. “When I don’t sense it, that the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is. Nineteen-year vet or 15 years, it doesn’t matter. We all have a job to do and I have to step it up a little more, too. Just show more. Even if I think I’m showing more, just show extra. Exaggerate it a little bit just to make it spread. Make it vocal. Make everybody see it.”
Phoenix’s top two players, Booker and Ayton, exchanged words after the 10-minute cooling off period as members of the media entered the visiting locker room for the tail end of that conversation. These two have had words before on the court, with Booker correcting Ayton on what to do on certain plays. Both have agreed to hold players accountable, but this felt different. “I’m an emotional guy, too,” Ayton said. “I start to feel stuff. When I don’t sense it and the energy is not there, that’s when you start to hear my mouth. I don’t care who it is. Nineteen-year vet or 15 years, it don’t matter. We all have a job to do and I have to step it up a little more, too.”
June 28, 2022 | 4:49 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: At this point, it’s widely anticipated that Jalen Brunson will go to the Knicks on a four-year deal in excess of $100M. It remains to be seen how New York will clear the rest of the necessary cap space and whether the Mavs can work a sign-and-trade to recoup assets.
Chris Mannix: Part of the Knicks pitch to Jalen Brunson, I’m told, is the opportunity to be a full time point guard. In Dallas, Brunson can play with Luka. But Luka is the de facto point guard. In New York, Brunson would run the show.
Ben Anderson: At 34, Will Hardy joins Lawrence Frank, George Karl, and Jeff Van Gundy as the third-youngest full-time head coaches in NBA history. Only Minnesota Timberwolves coaches Ryan Saunders and Sidney Lowe (both 33) were younger.
The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame announced Thursday the latest group of inductees. Antonio Gates, Chris Webber, Jennie Ritter, Meryl Davis, Charlie White, John Beilein, Mickey Redmond and Kathy Beauregard are the eight new faces for the class of 2022.
June 28, 2022 | 4:37 pm EDT Update
Wrote Friday that the Knicks had amassed “major momentum” in their pursuit of Jalen Brunson after draft night. There is a growing resignation in Dallas, sources say, that the Knicks are indeed Brunson’s top choice and his inevitable destination. More: https://marcstein.substack.com/p/brunson-sweepstakes-just-got-real