Suspended owner ready to sell Suns
Robert Sarver says he has started the process of selling the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, a move that came barely a week after he was suspended by the NBA over workplace misconduct that included racist speech and hostile behavior toward employees.
The decision was quickly applauded by many -- among them, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the National Basketball Players Association and even Sarver's partners in the ownership group that operates the Suns and Mercury.
Sarver made the announcement Wednesday, saying selling "is the best course of action," although he initially hoped he would be able to keep control of the franchises -- pointing to his record that, he claims, paints a dramatically different picture of who he is and what he stands for.
"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible -- that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past," Sarver wrote in a statement. "For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury."
Silver said he "fully" supports Sarver's decision.
"This is the right next step for the organization and community," Silver said.
Sarver bought the teams in July 2004 for about $400 million -- then a record price for an NBA franchise. He is not the lone owner of the Suns and Mercury, but the primary one. Suns Legacy Partners LLC, the ownership group, said its work to create a "culture of respect and integrity" would continue.