As a result of allegations made against Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver in an ESPN piece published on Thursday morning, the NBA has opened an inquiry into the franchise and Sarver. Interviews were conducted with “more than 70 current and former Suns personnel” as part of the probe.
Communications VP Mike Bass issued a Statement Calling the Claims “Very Serious”
Communications VP Mike Bass issued a statement calling the claims “very serious” and saying that the company has asked the law firm Wachtell Lipton to launch an investigation. To this day, the NBA and WNBA are dedicated to maintaining an environment where everyone feels welcome and appreciated.
Sarver, who also owns the Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), has been accused of creating a hostile work environment for female employees by making sexist and racist remarks.
One Suns co-owner said to ESPN, “The amount of misogyny and racism is over the pale” in reference to Mallorca owner and Suns minority shareholder Sarver. “As a proprietor, it’s quite embarrassing.”
“There’s virtually nothing you could tell me about him from a misogyny or racist angle that would surprise me,” a former Suns basketball executive said in the ESPN report.
To clear my identity and the reputation of an organisation of which I am so extremely proud, an impartial NBA investigation may prove our only outlet,” Sarver stated in his statement.
Despite the Suns’ 51-21 record and trip to the NBA Finals in the previous season, much of Sarver’s time in charge has been marked by turmoil. During Sarver’s tenure, the team has gone through nine different head coaches and eight different general managers. The Suns had as many as seven head coaches in eight seasons. With general manager James Jones and coach Monty Williams, Phoenix appeared to have found some stability.
Jahm Najafi Statement
Team vice chairman Jahm Najafi stated in a statement on Thursday, “The behaviour he is claimed to have committed has astonished and grieved me and is unacceptable.” “It is our responsibility as stewards to guarantee that all Suns staff, players, coaches, and stakeholders are treated fairly and with respect.
“Although the League has the authority to determine and take whatever action based on its finding, I offer my backing to guarantee complete responsibility in light of today’s disclosures.”
Former Suns head coach and current assistant with the Toronto Raptors Earl Watson was interviewed in the article, and he had some harsh words for Sarver during his time with the team. Sarver released a statement on Thursday in which he claimed Watson was not reliable and had fostered a “toxic and unprofessional environment” at the company.
‘We’ll wait like everyone else for due diligence to be done,’ Suns guard Chris Paul said. We’re going to keep working on it for the time being.