Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has a problem. It’s not an uncommon one for people Sarver’s age: mid-50s. Sarver’s problem has got to do with millennials, or — to borrow the Oxford Dictionary definition, because even the noun for millennials is in question — “those people reaching the age of young adulthood around the year 2000.”
Pew Research says 18-34 year-olds in 2015 are millennials, and even if that defers with the Oxford definition and my own experience, I’m going to use it as a baseline. As such, I’m a millennial (so is my coworker, Chris Mottram, so make sure to refer to him as such from now on).
When Sarver spoke to Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley for a recent piece about the changing of the guard in Phoenix, with the surprising Arizona Cardinals overtaking the Phoenix Suns in popularity and winning percentage, he dropped this delightful kernel about the millennial generation:
“I’m not sure it’s just the NBA,” Sarver said. “My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he can’t seem to recover from it.
“I’m not sure if it’s the technology or the instant gratification of being online. But the other thing is, I’m not a fan of social media. I tell my kids it’s like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations. We’ve had a number of setbacks this year that have taken their toll on us, and we haven’t been resilient. Therefore, it’s up to our entire organization to step up their game.”
If you’ve been following along at home, Markieff Morris has experienced a rocky time in the arid desert of Arizona since the Suns traded his twin brother to Detroit in July to clear space for a run at LaMarcus Aldridge — who plays the same position as Markieff. After that happened, he told a Philly reporter he wanted to be traded, and crowed about getting dealt all summer before quickly changing tune when it came to training camp (and the bi-monthly paydays that go along with meeting your contractual obligations). Since then he’s thrown a towel at head coach Jeff Hornacek that got him suspended for a pair of games, and he’s just not playing very well. Recently, his twin brother said ‘Kieff still wants out of Phoenix.