Phoenix Suns center Jermaine O'Neal and general manager Lance Blanks engaged in a blistering, expletive-laced confrontation in the coach's office on Monday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
"It was really bad," one Suns source said Tuesday afternoon.
The confrontation happened after interim coach Lindsey Hunter's first practice and unfolded within earshot of several Suns players in the locker room, sources said. Initially, O'Neal had expressed disappointment that his veteran stature hadn't dictated the front office turning to him for counsel in the recent coaching change, a league source told Y! Sports. When O'Neal kept challenging Blanks, the discussion started to become an argument and ultimately a screaming match.
It was immediately unclear what precipitated the disagreement, sources said, but there has been considerable unrest within the organization. At 13-28, the Suns have the worst record in the Western Conference.
The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that O'Neal missed practice with an "unstated medical issue" and wouldn't make the team's trip to Sacramento.
Blanks didn't immediately respond to a text message.
The Suns fired coach Alvin Gentry and replaced him with Hunter, who worked in player development and has no coaching background.
O'Neal has averaged 6.4 points and four rebounds a game for the Suns in his 17th season in the NBA.
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