Robert Sarver has announced that he has “started the process” to sell his majority stake in Sun and Mercury. Sarver is currently serving a one-year suspension after the SBA concluded an investigation into Sarver’s “workplace misconduct and organizational misconduct.” During his 18-year tenure as Phoenix franchise owner.
Sarver said in a public statement: “The words I deeply regret overshadowed nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together — and the Phoenix area — through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball.” “As a person of faith, I believe in atonement and forgiveness. I thought the commissioner’s one-year ban would give me time to refocus and remove personal controversy from the teams that I and many fans love.
But in our current unforgiving climate, it’s become painfully clear that that’s no longer possible – any good I’ve ever done or can do will outweigh anything I’ve said in the past. For those reasons, I will start the process of looking for buyers for Sun and Mercury.
BREAKING: Part of Robert Sarver’s statement:
“Starting the process of finding buyers for Solar and Mercury.”https://t.co/fMhWdDIM5M
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) September 21, 2022
Sarver’s dramatic announcement came after the NBA Players Association, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green expressed their displeasure about the punishment to varying degrees. Green specifically asked the owners to vote for Sarver; While James League believes “this is definitely wrong”, CP3 tweeted that “the sanction is short”.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to these two teams and the good people who work so hard to bring the fun and excitement of basketball to fans around the world,” Sarver said.
“I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the staff, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone. In the meantime, I will continue to work to become a better person and support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you, Sun and Mercury, for continuing to embrace the power that sports brings us together.
Sarver’s stubbornness and willingness to portray himself as a victim made him willing to continue as a pariah in the NBA community, but there was always the fear that his decision to sell the Suns and Mercury would alienate the league and its ownership peers. https://t.co/LD7o1OYhQ0
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2022
Sans vice-chairman Jam Nafajim also came out and demanded that Sarver divest his ownership of Sun and Mercury. Commissioner Adam Silver In 2015, the NBA announced that it did not have the “right to remove” Sarver’s ownership stake, although it had already done so when Donald Sterling was suspended for racist remarks.
With back-to-back seasons in which the Suns have the best record in the league, ownership in Phoenix should be even more attractive. According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, league experts believe Phoenix could be a monster free agent destination with the right franchise because of its warm climate.