Recently handed a one-year suspension and a ten million dollar fine for inappropriate behavior toward his employees, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver avoided punishment à la Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Clippers. who was forced to sell his franchise. for racist comments in 2014. However, under pressure in particular from the players’ association, Sarver decided to put the Arizona franchise and the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) up for sale.
This is the news that got Adam Silver and the NBA out of a pretty good mess. When the League announced the punishment imposed on Robert Sarver a few days ago, it was the target of a lot of criticism from Suns employees, some media that cover the NBA and especially from the players, through their union. but also in the statements of superstars LeBron James and Chris Paul. How can an owner who engages in sexist, misogynistic and racist behavior within his own franchise retain his rights to it? This is the main question we can ask ourselves, a question that Commissioner Silver himself failed to answer during his press conference on the subject. The players’ union, through its director Tamika Tremaglio, did not hesitate to demand that Robert Sarver be banned for life from the NBA for his behavior. One of the minority owners of the Suns – Jahm Najafi – called on Sarver to step down, while one of the major sponsors of the franchise (PayPal) said that they want to end their partnership with the Suns if the identity is not changed. to the owner. after this stage. Finally, we also heard that Draymond Green put NBA owners on the floor, asking that they vote to end (or not) Robert Sarver’s tenure in Phoenix. So many pressure shots that finally won over the owner of the Suns, who will sell the Arizona franchise according to a press release shared by Baxter HolmesESPN.
“As a person of faith, I believe in redemption and forgiveness. I expect that the one-year suspension of the commissioner will allow me to heal and take my personal controversy away from the teams that I love and from many people.
But in today’s unforgiving climate, it is sadly becoming impossible. Whatever good things I may have done, or may have done, never mind the things I may have said in the past. For these reasons, I started the process of selling Suns and Mercury.
I don’t want to be a distraction to these two teams and the talented people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement that basketball brings to fans around the world. »
The NBA would have demanded the sale of Sarver to the Suns early. He was plunged into a mess that could go too far against him.
The right, final decision has been made. There is no place for this kind of speech and behavior, period.
— TrashTalk (@TrashTalk_fr) September 21, 2022
Now, of course, the question that arises concerns Robert Sarver’s successor. Who will be the new owner of the Suns? As Adrian Wojnarowski inESPN, Phoenix is an attractive franchise on paper. Fascinating because it has become so competitive in recent years, the Suns in particular are coming off the best season in their history with 64 wins and participation in the NBA Finals in 2021. Fascinating because it there is a young superstar like Devin Booker and more serious players like. Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton ahead of them for the rest of their future. But it’s also attractive because there are worse destinations than sunny Arizona. On the sidelines of the Sarver affair, so we are in a different franchise and according to Woj, can be jostling at the gate to try to offer the best offer to get the keys to Cactus.
Robert Sarver, who will be temporarily replaced by Sam Garvin in his governor’s costume, will throw in the towel. “The best thing for everyone” according to the owner. The best thing for the Suns, for the rest of the League’s owners, for the NBA as a whole, and maybe even for him.
Text sources: ESPN, @GeraldBourguet