Charles Barkley quashes Phoenix Suns’ title hopes after infighting as player-coach verbal sparring video surfaces

Washington Wizards v Phoenix Suns
Charles Barkley weighs in on the Phoenix Suns' recent struggles (Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns).

The Phoenix Suns are in the middle of a full-blown meltdown. After a six-game winning streak to close out November, the team has won just four of its last 11 games in December. As if that wasn't enough, tensions have been rising among the team. In Tuesday's 113-110 loss to the Washington Wizards, a "spirited conversation" was had during a timeout.

While the team was in the midst of a disappointing loss on their homecourt, coach Monty Williams and center Deandre Ayton had words. As the team gathered, the two men exchanged words while a fan recorded what happened. The conversation drew the attention of the "Inside the NBA" crew after the game.

Charles Barkley, who played for the Suns late in his career, spoke about the situation to his "NBA on TNT" co-hosts. The way he sees things, the Suns have no hope of making it back to the NBA Finals when their team is fractured. With the team being in a constant state of disconnect from before the season ever started, he thinks they aren't even close to being championship contenders.

"Something's going on with my team, and I don't feel good about about them right now," Barkley said. "I watch this team play quite a bit, and there's something going on in the locker room, and I don't know if they can fix it. It's not working."

After listening to Williams explain the situation after the game, Barkley weighed in on the future of the Suns team:

"For me, I can tell, because I've been around the NBA for 40 years," Barkley said. "You can tell when something's not working. And they're going to have to figure it out, because right now, it's not working. They're going to win a lot of games, 'cause they got talent, but they're not even close to being a championship contender anymore."

You can view footage of the "Inside the NBA "crew discussing the situation, as well as the verbal sparring session between Ayton and Bridges above. The talk of the disconnect begins at the three-minute mark.

Charles Barkley's assessment of the Suns' disconnect compared to Monty Williams

Although Charles Barkley believes there's a serious fracture in the Suns organization, Monty Williams isn't putting much stock into the situation. Williams said the heated conversation wasn't a personal blowout with Deandre Ayton.

“No, it was the whole team," Williams said. "In those moments — it wasn’t just Deandre — it was the whole group out there not executing properly. It was a bitter frustration, but that happens. That was not an isolated one-person or one-player thing.”
<a href='' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Phoenix Suns</a> coach Monty Williams
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams

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The Phoenix Suns will attempt to put their latest loss behind them over the next few days before returning to the court on Friday. With a two-day layoff between games, the team will likely be working through things before the Suns host the Memphis Grizzlies.

With the Grizzlies (19-11) being tied for first place in the West, the Suns will have to be at their best if they have hopes of stopping their current skid.

Below, you can view highlights from the Wizards' win over the Suns on Tuesday.


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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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