Robert Sarver Rumors
Exactly what was discussed that day is not known, but it came down to this: McDonough and team owner Robert Sarver asked Chandler his preference: go to a postseason contender or stay with the rebuilding Suns in a limited on-court role. In his 16th season, Chandler chose to stay. “That’s true,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I feel like it’s a journey I started that I want to see through. If things change, I don’t know, but as long as I’m here, I’m going to try and do what’s right by these young fellas. I didn’t want to go nowhere. I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out.”
Suns president Jason Rowley said at a news conference that the Suns “want to be the NBA team for Mexico.” Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton thanked Suns owner Robert Sarver and the team for a franchise “that is building bridges to Mexico and not walls.”
McDonough and the Suns owner, Robert Sarver, both made the trip to Carmel, Ind., to meet with Stevens and his wife Tracy. “So yeah, we were at his kitchen table,” McDonough explained on the podcast. “We were meeting with him about potentially coaching the Suns. Ultimately he decided at that time to stay at Butler, and then a month or two later he chose to go to the Celtics. But as far as how close it was or what his decision-making process was, you’d have to ask him about that. But we were sitting around his kitchen table discussing him potentially coaching the Suns in May of 2013.”
In another interesting layer to the story, McDonough actually worked in the Celtics front office for a decade under team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge before joining the Suns in 2013. The two basketball minds clearly shared a deep respect for Stevens and both recruited the same man. “We thought we had a chance,” McDonough said.
Sarver, who purchased the Suns with partners nearly 12 years ago, said his ownership plans are for the long haul now “more so than ever.” “I think I’m getting better at it,” Sarver, 54, told azcentral sports from his 14th-floor downtown Phoenix bank headquarters overlooking Talking Stick Resort Arena. “I think I understand it better. I think I’ve got myself surrounded with some good people and we’ve got some great young players to really build our franchise with, which is what we’re going to have to do. If you look at a lot of the good teams right now, they went through three, four, five, six tough years to be able to get all those young players and have that consistency to compete at a high level for an extended period of time.