Image Credit: (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Well it has finally come, Robert Sarver is no longer an owner of an NBA/WBA team as he has finalized a sale of the Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury. The new owner of both teams is Matt Ishbia. If you don’t know Matt Ishbia is the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage which is the No. 1 overall mortgage lender in the nation. He has bought the Suns/Mercury for 4 Billion Dollars.
The $4 billion deal, which also includes the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, would be a record price paid for an NBA franchise.
— Sportico (@Sportico) December 20, 2022
Mat Ishba net worth is around $5.1 Billion dollars, so he has the money to purchase this team. Fun Fact Ishba was a college basketball player for Michigan State Universities basketball team from 1998 to 2002.
I was not shocked at all that this deal happened now as it was inevitable to happen. Robert Sarver had to go as the owner of this team. Especially when those Racism and Sexual Misconduct Allegations came out about him. Which when the investigation came out, the evidence was super damming. Apparently he did many disgraceful actions including,
- Requiring Earl Watson to fire a minority agent in order to accept a job with the suns
- Using the N-Word multiple times
- Refusing to accept or adapt to a diverse workplace
- Making “racially insensitive” comments during a meeting with Steve Nash
- Allegedly announce his preference for extra-large condoms at a staff meeting.
- Asking players about the Sex Lives
- Making inappropriate comments to a Pregnant Employee involving breastfeeding
- Sarver would haze employees by pulling there pants down in front of dozens of employee
So yeah, Robert Sarver is a real piece of work for all the stuff that he did above. There is so much more that has been alleged to that I did not want to mention, but they don’t paint him well either. I was repulsed and angry by everything coming out with Sarver and so were many players in the NBA and on the Suns. Even Monty Williams who is the head coach of the Phoenix Suns was repulsed by what Sarver did
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 5, 2021
The punishment handed down by the NBA just makes me more angry that Sarver only got suspended for one year and also was fined $10 million dollars. He should have been banned from the NBA for life with the stuff he did. It was clear that once this came out, there were almost immediate plans of Sarver selling the team, which was very telling.
Even when those allegations were being released, Sarver was not a good owner at all. In fact he was often ranked as one of the worst the past few years due to how cheap he ran the team. There are so many examples of how much of a cheapskate he was with the team. There are many examples I want to show, but I will give 5 of them.
- Sarver traded many 1st Round picks for Cash Considerations (Some Picks were in the Top 10)
- Sarver effectively forced out general manager Bryan Colangelo due to him not accepting a paycut (Colangelo built the Suns in the 2000’s before Sarver’s arrival and was arguably a Top 10 maybe Top 5 GM in the League)
- Lowballed Steve Kerr in contract negotiations which led to Kerr fleeing to Golden State
- He was celebrating not having to paying Goran Dragic’s $1 Million Dollar bonus and bragged about it in front of his face
- Refusing to give DeAndre Ayton a Max Contract (Almost lost him to the Pacers last offseason)
Yeah the man was clearly a cheapskate, but that is not all he did as you can’t talk about Robert Sarver ownership tenure without talking about “The Goat Incident”.
So this is a freaking insane story. So during the McDonough GM days, Sarver decided to put live goats in McDonough’s office to urge and motivate the GM to find the Suns’ own GOAT. No seriously, he actually did this and it was a costly mistake as the goats messed up his office and there was goat poop almost everywhere. For doing this prank or motivation tactic, which went to far, Do you wan to know how Sarver apologize to McDonough? He offered an extension to his contract. Then Sarver fired him a year later. I mean what is there really to say.
Another dark light of Sarver’s tenure was how he handled the coaching for the Suns. Now coaching in the NBA has not completely mattered as much as it does in other leagues and it has especially been the case during the past few years. The Suns fueled that argument and took it to a new level as the organization went through 7 head coaches in 7 years.
The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Igor Kokoškov after just one season.
The Suns will now be looking for their 7th different coach in an 8-season span.
Kokoškov's .232 winning pct is the worst by any coach in Suns franchise history. pic.twitter.com/YStxX1Ir9x
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 23, 2019
That was not a typo and I can’t remember a time where a team has had that many head coaches in that amount of years. That goes to show how dysfunctional the Suns have been as an organization during Sarver’s tenure
One thing is for sure Robert Sarver was one of the worst owners in the NBA. Sarver no longer the owner is a good thing not only for the Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury, but both the NBA and WNBA as a whole. With how controversial his tenure has been, I am shocked he lasted as long as he did as an NBA Owner. With how Mat Ishbia ran United Wholesale Mortgage, I think that Ishbia is going to be a great owner in the NBA.
Hello my name is Nicholas and I am a writer for Moore Than Sports. I am a graduate from Farmingdale State College. Currently I am enrolled at Canisius College going for my Masters Degree in Sports Administration. My favorite sports teams are the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Charlotte Hornets, Buffalo Sabers, New York Rangers, and New York Yankees. I enjoy watching sports, analyzing transactions, scouting football players, and of course writing sports articles.