Here we go again.
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is world-renowned for his mutant ability to fuck up a good thing. And apparently, when he isn’t preoccupied with sabotaging the Suns or pissing off their fanbase by being a money-grubbing asshole, he partakes in the type of activity that forces his front office to preemptively defend Sarver against a forthcoming bombshell report from ESPN that will accuse him of racist and sexist behavior.
These are very exciting times.
“We understand that an outlet is considering publishing a proposed story that makes completely baseless claims against the Suns organization concerning a variety of topics,” the Suns said in a statement. “Documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions. We urge everyone not to rush to judgment here. Especially based on lies, innuendo, and a false narrative to attack our organization and its leadership.”
Chris Paul, who’s been down this road before with the Clippers, could not be reached for comment since he was presumably either throwing chairs or banging his head against his steering wheel. But Suns CEO and President Jason Rowley was more than happy to go clean the fuck off and pledge his allegiance to his boss in a statement provided to CNBC.
“This story is completely outrageous and false,” he said. “It doesn’t represent–at all–the Robert Sarver I’ve worked alongside of for 15 years. He’s not a racist and he’s not a sexist.”
He also came for the unnamed ESPN reporter who is about to ruin Sarver’s life for demonstrating a “reckless disregard for the truth.”
“He has harassed employees, former employees, and family members; used truths, half-truths, and rumors to manufacture a story in which he’s heavily invested and then perpetuate a completely false narrative within the sports industry to back it up,” Rowley said in his statement.
Sarver has also come to his own defense and insists that ESPN is off-base with its proposed story.
“While I can’t begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims I find completely repugnant to my nature and to the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace and I can tell you they never, ever happened,” he said.
In response to the Suns throwing preemptive jabs, ESPN has kept its cool and has only offered the following statement: “We don’t comment on stories that may or may not be in progress.”
Translation: “Holla at us after we pull a New York Times and shit down this man’s throat.”
There’s been no official word on if or when this story will see the light of day, but if NBA insider Jordan Schultz is to be believed, it could rock the entire league.
“I have been told [it could be published] within the next week or two, but that was before I had reported it was coming,” Schultz told Arizona’s Family Sports Director Mark McClune. “With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if it got expedited. [...] I think it’ll be sooner than later because, from my understanding, ESPN has been working on this story for about a year with upwards of 50 to 100 people on the record.
“There’s a statement I know was made, and I hope this is in the piece, about Robert Sarver saying something extremely disparaging to one of the female owners. [...] the thought was he didn’t believe that there should be female owners or that they were the lower class. What I was told, is that as big a story you think it is, it’s that much bigger. It’s a monster. It’s gonna blow the NBA world up.”
Oh, boy. Get your popcorn ready.