Is It Time for Owner Robert Sarver to Sell the Phoenix Suns?

Jonathan Cullen@@jcullen71Senior Writer IJanuary 26, 2013

Has it come time for Rober Sarver to sell the Suns?
Has it come time for Rober Sarver to sell the Suns?Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Is it time?

After listening to Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver talk to the Burns and Gambo radio show on local Phoenix station KTAR 620 earlier this week (here is a transcript of the conversation), I didn't walk away feeling any better about the situation.

In fact, it made me think that it is time for Sarver to sell the team.

At one point, when asked by Burns and Gambo: "You have a whole legion of really upset Phoenix Suns fans right now, what do you say to them about all this?

Sarver responded with: "I would disagree with that. I would say we monitor all the information that comes in from our ticket holders and our fans, and I would disagree with that, we don't. I think it's a good story for a lot of guys like you, and a lot of you guys that made up a lot of stuff that's completely inaccurate and unfactual."

If Sarver is that tone deaf and oblivious to the fans, then this isn't going to get any better.

It may actually get worse, not from a wins-and-losses standpoint, but simply from the fact that no one is going to have any confidence in what Suns management plan on doing.

His explanation about the decision to fire coach Alvin Gentry and replace him with an inexperienced Lindsey Hunter didn't make much sense either.

Unfortunately, it continues a talent drain leaving the desert over the past three seasons.

Sarver's ownership has been marred by players and management alike leaving on unhappy terms with the Suns organization.

Suns assistant coaches Dan Majerle and Elston Turner left in the aftermath of the decision to promote Hunter to the head coach position, detailed by Yahoo Sports' Kelly Dwyer.

All of that is coming after an offseason where the Suns traded their franchise icon Steven Nash to the L.A. Lakers, in a deal where the Suns might benefit only from the Lakers terrible start to the season. 

With Nash out of Phoenix, Grant Hill left the Suns and headed to the L.A. Clippers.

Those two moves come on the heels of the team losing Amare Stoudemire to the New York Knicks for nothing.

Shaquille O'Neal, Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson are other notable players to leave the Suns during his ownership. Drafts picks that would have given the Suns the rights to Rajon Rondo and Luol Deng were instead sold for cash.

But it hasn't just been the players. The people picking the players have left as well.

Former Suns general manager Steve Kerr left the team in June of 2010.

Kerr replaced Bryan Colangelo, who left the Suns to take over the Toronto Raptors due to issues that he had while working with Sarver, detailed in this report by NBA.com.

It paints a picture of an owner pushing talented employees away from the team.

The Suns are obviously in the midst of a massive rebuilding project, but looking at the recent trades and signings for the team, it is hard to have confidence in the ability of general manager Lance Blanks to evaluate talent and handle the rebuilding of the team.

That lack of confidence in Blanks is something that I wrote about here.

Maybe it is time for someone else to own the Suns and lead the team in a new direction.  

It's a tough time to be a Suns fan.


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