Robert Sarver Rumors
The Suns will miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year this season and Marcus Morris has joked that Sarver, their owner since 2004, “should fire himself.” “I like Jeff as a person, Jeff is a great guy, a good coach,” Marcus Morris said. “I don’t think it was too much him, and things like that. I think it was the organization in general.”
The Phoenix Suns have strong interest in former star guard Steve Nash for their coaching vacancy, but Nash is not interested in going into full-time coaching at this time, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN that Suns owner Robert Sarver, even before firing Jeff Hornacek early Monday morning after the team’s overnight arrival in Phoenix after a four-game road trip, has had Nash high on his list of potential targets to take over the team.
As the Suns regroup, expect one name to surface: Steve Nash, the two-time MVP and former franchise point guard, who has been operating as a part-time consultant for Golden State this season, parachuting into the Bay Area as needed. Suns owner Robert Sarver’s affection for Nash is well known – the two recently bought controlling interest of a Spanish soccer club – and there is no question the return of Nash would reinvigorate the fan base.
Nash has yet to indicate when, or if, he intends to seek a larger role in the NBA, or what kind of role he would look for. Intelligent and widely respected, Nash’s potential is seemingly limitless. Coaching is an option, although Nash’s balky back could make a front-office position more appealing. Currently Nash is the general manager of the Canadian men’s national basketball team, a job he enjoys, friends say, and a it’s title he has held since 2012. But a write-your-own-ticket offer from Phoenix, where Nash remains hugely popular, could be too appealing to pass up. The Suns have a bright young general manager in Ryan McDonough, whose role was enhanced when Lon Babby, Phoenix’s former president of basketball operations, stepped down last summer, but many believe Sarver will do whatever it takes to lure Nash back.
Reached overseas, Sarver took full responsibility. He said the Suns lack championship culture. He said that organizational leadership is to blame, and it all starts with him. Clearly, the head coach is not the only one on the hot seat in Phoenix. “The reality is, there’s only a half dozen championship-caliber organizations in the NBA over the last 25 years,” Sarver said. “My job is to find the right people and the right culture to eventually be one of those organizations, and it starts with me. I’m not shirking responsibility. “The blame is to be shared from the top down. Our leadership needs to communicate better. It needs to provide a better culture that provides for more accountability and more motivation. We have a lot of good, young players. They need to be playing hard, aggressively and on the same page whether we win or lose. That’s what I expect going forward.”
The handling of Hornacek leads to one conclusion: The team thinks he needs to get better at reaching the jagged personalities and dealing with the everyday dysfunction of an NBA locker room. “I’m not sure it’s just the NBA,” Sarver said. “My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the offseason and he can’t seem to recover from it.