Robert Sarver Rumors
The 23-year-old claimed that he hadn’t heard about the episode with Rose, because he’s following Paul’s and Devin Booker’s lead to limit his social media usage. “Them dudes, they’re the most famous athletes in the NBA right now and they block it out,” Ayton said. “I can block it out, too.” The report regarding Sarver, however, was too seismic for a member of the Suns to possibly avoid. So Ayton fell back on focusing on what was in his power to control—a standard mode for professional athletes at large. “All I do,” Ayton said, “is put my head down and work.”
In initial remarks made to Phoenix Suns employees Monday, lawyers from the New York-based Wachtell Lipton firm that’s investigating the team and majority owner Robert Sarver addressed concerns about retaliation, confidentiality and a timeline for completion, league sources told ESPN. Two attorneys from the firm — David Anders and Sarah Eddy — were in Phoenix and led the talk to employees over a Zoom call, league sources said.
The attorneys on the call explained that anyone who would like to remain confidential in a potential final report would indeed have their identity kept confidential, according to league sources. Employees were also told, league sources said, that a thorough investigation would take time and that the attorneys were interested in all perspectives from all employees.
Duane Rankin: “It’s easy to get distracted, I can tell you that. It’s easy to not focus on the task at hand, but we’re doing a good job of making sure we just take it one day at a time.” Jae Crowder as #Suns have won five straight games amid #NBA investigating Robert Sarver allegations. #NBA75
Among the eulogizers that night was Robert Sarver, the Suns and Mercury majority owner who, following last week’s lengthy ESPN report that prompted an NBA investigation, stands accused of misogyny, racism and creating a toxic work environment in Phoenix. (In statements, Sarver has denied most of the allegations.) A month after the event, at Wendy Heckmann’s request, Sarver’s executive assistant sent a link to download a full recording of it to nearly two dozen members of the ownership group and some of their spouses, according to a screenshot of the email obtained by Sports Illustrated.
Made aware of this story on Tuesday night, neither the Suns nor Sarver chose to comment. An NBA spokesperson told SI that the league is aware of the video. Heckmann’s widow Wendy told SI on Tuesday that Sarver’s remarks were in keeping with the spirit of the event, and she was not offended by them. “It was a roast—that’s what my husband wanted,” Wendy Heckmann said when reached by phone. “He wanted everybody to laugh at his expense, basically, and tell funny stories, and that’s what everybody did.” She added, referring to the reported allegations against Sarver, “That is not the Robert that I know. Robert is a really good person and I’ve never heard him say anything derogatory or anything with any kind of racial flair or any kind of sexist flair or anything—he’s never done that in my presence.”