With Robert Sarver looking to sell the Suns, the league will need to find another billionaire.
Well, it doesn’t appear as if that will be an issue.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Suns are expected to have “no shortage of high-level ownership candidates.”
It’s still very early in the process, as Sarver released a statement saying the sale has just begun. Sarver, of course, was suspended for one year after NBA investigation revealed multiple instances of workplace misconduct.
As for the team itself, success has been the name of the game lately. The Suns were fizzled out in last season’s Western Conference semifinals, but before that, put together the NBA’s best record. They advanced to the Finals two seasons ago and are considered a true championship contender again in 2022-23.
“As a warm weather destination in West, league executives always believed this could be a monster free agent destination with right ownership,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Hoops Wire sources have identified former Disney CEO Bob Iger as being among the candidates to own the Suns. Iger expressed interest in buying the team last fall, but Sarver shot down those rumors by telling reporters he had “zero interest” in a sale.
Iger is also reportedly close with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and has spoken about his friendship with Suns point guard Chris Paul. Apparently, Iger and Paul text each other several times a week.
Bob Iger, the former Disney CEO and reported pal of Adam Silver, could be next in line to own Suns. Iger had an interest before, but was shot down. In an interesting twist, Disney owns ESPN, which uncovered the Sarver story. https://t.co/YqpiSrCCIO
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) September 21, 2022
There is no timeframe on a sale, sources said. Per ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, Suns vice chairman and minority owner Sam Garvin will serve as the team’s controlling owner in Sarver’ absence.
Garvin “launched his own mail-in rebate and consumer promotions company at age 25, (and) is in his 11th season as vice chairman of the Suns after purchasing interest in the club in June 2004,” the team website noted.
The NBA detailed Sarver’s infractions in a press release. Per the league:
“Mr. Sarver on at least five occasions during his tenure with the Suns/Mercury organization repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others. Mr. Sarver engaged in instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female employees and other women and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees. Mr. Sarver engaged in demeaning and harsh treatment of employees including by yelling and cursing at them.”
The NBA today issued the following statement: pic.twitter.com/jjlBK771PT
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) September 13, 2022