HoopsHype Robert Sarver rumors

October 10, 2011 Updates

The Phoenix Suns are turning to former Henkel Consumer Goods CEO Brad Casper to run its business operations. Suns owner Robert Sarver will hire Casper as the team’s new team president, according to the Sports Business Daily and Sports Business Journal. Casper replaces Rick Welts, who resigned from the Suns in early September and recently was hired as Golden State Warriors President & COO. Business News

October 5, 2011 Updates

The latest Sarver bash from a national perspective came on a local airwave. Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, a lockout reporting beast like cbssports.com's Ken Berger, had the following comment about Sarver on "Chuck and Vince Live" on KDUS-AM (1060) this morning. Read it here or hear it here: "I think Sarver's been the most difficult. He has been really the last couple years in this. I quoted an owner, an ownership source, the other day in a story that he talks so much and says so many outlandish things in these meetings, people tune him out. You know him in Phoenix. He can erode his credibility by just opening his mouth very often. While he is the hardest line of the hard-liners, he is not going to dictate where this goes. He led the charge on wanting the hard cap, on wanting to get rid of the mid-level exception, but at the end of the day, he is not a powerful voice in that room. He's one of the last owners in. He's probably one of the least wealthy owners. And he's probably one of the owners who really have to honest look at whether he should really own an NBA team. Does he have the wealth to really do it and do it right . . . I do think guys like Sarver are willing to lose the whole season." Arizona Republic

October 1, 2011 Updates

Once again, Phoenix Suns owners Robert Sarver was the most vocal proponent of the owner’s case, and he befuddled players by insisting that his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag. He’s been a strong advocate for a hard salary cap, and a source said that Sarver told the players in the room that he hadn’t been able to get the return on buying the Suns that he had hoped. Yahoo! Sports

September 20, 2011 Updates
September 19, 2011 Updates

There’s been much ado made about the fact that Steve Nash recommended a vitriolic anti-Sarver Twitter rant by ESPN’s Bill Simmons that included this tweet after an ESPN report cited Sarver and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as having “expressed their dissatisfaction” that “owners were seriously considering coming off of their demand for a salary freeze and would allow players’ future earnings to be tied into the league’s revenue growth.” When later asked on Twitter if we can suppose his days of a Sun are over in light of that recommendation, Nash tweeted, “Nah. I’m a SUN but NBAPA 1st.” Valley of the Suns

September 18, 2011 Updates

To the technologically unhip, here are the consequences: Nash seems to be championing the criticism of his boss. That can't help their working relationship, and you wonder if this is Nash's way of asking out, of joining the long procession of employees who've left the organization in recent years. "I would absolutely confirm on a scale of 1-10, he's not an easy guy every day to work for," outgoing Suns President and CEO Rick Welts said. "But I'll tell you, the guy I worked for before him, David Stern, is off the charts when it comes to being hard to work for. Robert is a piece of cake. He's got a wonderful heart. He's got this thing about wanting to win that every fan should appreciate." Arizona Republic

September 16, 2011 Updates

Also, a report on ESPN.com claimed that a hard-line stance by Cleveland's Dan Gilbert and Phoenix's Robert Sarver, during Tuesday's session, derailed what could have been significant progress. Citing unnamed sources, the story alleged that New York's James Dolan and the Lakers' Jerry Buss were "visibly annoyed" by the two newer owners. Stern didn't even wait to be asked about that allegation. "It is so wrong and incorrect and fictional," he said, "that I think I can understand why they would only attribute it to sources and that nobody would be willing to stand behind it." NBA.com

September 15, 2011 Updates

Bill Simmons, aka ESPN's The Sports Guy, isn't happy that he isn't going to get basketball in a month or so. He isn't happy that the players and the owners are using tactics that he believes will ultimately fail. So he went on a rant on Twitter blasting everyone that'll hold up an NBA season from happening. One of his targets was Suns owner Robert Sarver. Simmons is no fan of Sarver for penny-pinching a title-contending team. Simmons is even less of a fan of Sarver's willingness to blow up the current CBA in favor of something that would justify all his previous basketball/financial-related decisions. So there went Simmons, burning up on Sarver again. 2 Sarver overpaid for team, spent last few years slicing $$$$ and turned Suns fans against him. Not he wants to blow up the system? Go away. This should probably mean nothing, because Simmons ripping Sarver is like Teller never speaking to Penn. It comes naturally. SB Nation

September 10, 2011 Updates

Suns President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Welts came to work Friday to tell team employees, many of whom he has worked alongside for nine years, that he is leaving them. Already mired in a league lockout, Suns employees did not need this news about their beloved boss but they helped to ease Welts' anxiousness about the move. As Welts revealed plans to leave by Sept. 15, he was joined in Managing Partner Robert Sarver's office by Sarver, Vice Chairman Sam Garvin, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby - and good cheer. Arizona Republic

He wanted to shoot down any notion that he was being pushed out the door by the Suns, praising the support he has received from team owner Robert Sarver. "I think amicable is probably an understatement," Welts said of his leaving the franchise. He said both he and Sarver were concerned that some might have a misperception that, because of the timing, the Suns wanted him to leave. "Nothing could be further from the truth," Welts said. "From the time I made my announcement in May, the Suns, and Robert in particular, have been unbelievably supportive." He said that he and Sarver had just spoke again by telephone to thank each other. ESPN.com

Sarver said in a news release that the business side of the organization will report to general counsel Jason Rowley as the team searches for a new president. Sarver thanked Welts for "his tireless work on behalf of the Suns." Lon Babby remains the Suns' president of basketball operations. ESPN.com

The Suns are promoting General Counsel Jason Rowley to executive vice president to assume Welts' duties on an interim basis. A national search of candidates, including Rowley, will be conducted to fill the spot. Rowley joined the Suns in 2008 and represented Sarver's purchase of the Suns in 2004. "He's got a breadth of knowledge of business," Babby said of Rowley. "He's a problem solver and that's a big asset for someone in that position." Arizona Republic

June 20, 2011 Updates

Today's NBA is filled with owners who paid through the nose for their teams, and have years of red ink in front of them before they ever see a return on their investment. The list includes Joe Lacob and Peter Guber (Golden State, purchased in 2010 for $450 million), Robert Sarver (Phoenix, 2005, $400 million), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland, 2005, $375 million), Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagluica (Boston, 2002, $360 million), Ted Leonsis (Washington, 2010, $300 million -- an estimated price that does not include another $250 million in debt on Verizon Center and the Wizards that Leonsis also has to assume) and Mikhail Prokhorov (New Jersey, 2009, $200 million for 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in which the Nets will play beginning in 2013). NBA.com

March 3, 2011 Updates

The Suns will wear their notorious "Los Suns" jerseys again. As part of the NBA's 5-year-old Noche Latina game marketing, the Suns will wear the "Los Suns" jerseys for a March 25 home game against New Orleans. They have worn them for Noche Latina-themed games previously, but it was Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver's decision to have the team wear them again on Cinco de Mayo last season that stirred controversy. Sarver wanted to make a public statement to protest a state's new immigration law that ultimately had vital parts of it blocked in federal court. Arizona Republic

February 24, 2011 Updates
February 18, 2011 Updates

When the NBA owners and players joined for a brief, acrimonious meeting on All-Star weekend a year ago, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver had a big idea: Why don’t the commissioner and the union reps leave the room, and let the owners and players speak directly on the matter of a collective-bargaining agreement? The suggestion was met with resounding rejection from Players Association executive director Billy Hunter, but commissioner David Stern spared his anger until union officials and players left the room. With the rest of the NBA’s owners watching, sources told Yahoo! Sports that Stern berated Sarver with an expletive-riddled diatribe demanding that he never, ever ask him to leave one of his negotiating sessions again. This was the Stern mostly hidden from the public eye: belligerent, controlling and forever staking his territory. Yahoo! Sports

February 5, 2011 Updates

Nash still swears he has no intention of making that request, as forecasted back in December right after Phoenix shook up its roster. Asking to be dealt is not in the works as a birthday present to himself and not something Nash is plotting to spring on the Suns before the Feb. 24 trading deadline. Nash insisted again this week, as he lunched on five-bean soup and the healthiest of chopped salads at one of his go-to temples for food purity, that he won't be lobbying Suns owner Robert Sarver and new team president Lon Babby to send him to a contender. "Maybe I'm old school," Nash said, "but I signed a contract to play here and I want to honor it. I feel like I owe it to my teammates and the city and everybody to keep battling until they tell me it's time to go." ESPN.com

January 29, 2011 Updates

The Suns found a way to have a common center at practice on Thursday. Players and coaches gathered at midcourt and sat in a circle with Managing Partner Robert Sarver and President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. Each took a turn sharing what he and the next man could do better to help this 20-24 Suns team. "Keep plugging away and keep trying to get better, compete a little bit harder," coach Alvin Gentry said of the messages. Arizona Republic

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