There are plenty of people in the NBA who have stories about Suns owner Robert Sarver — about his penny-pinching ways, the time he put goats in his GM’s office, or more serious talk. on the work environment he created in Phoenix.
Former Suns star Goran Dragic shared a story he told on a Slovenian basketball podcast (hat teolight332 on NBA Reddit) about the disappearance of the 2014 All-Star team that portrayed the Sarver’s concerns about finances in a petty light.
“He came to the gym and said he was happy…actually happy. So I asked him why are you so happy? He told me it was because he didn’t have to pay me a $1 million bonus. And I was like, what kind of owner doesn’t want their own player on the all-star team. After that, I thought to myself… I really don’t see myself in this place anymore.
This was allegedly during the 2013-14 season, when the Suns were a surprise 48-win team, powered in part by a backcourt of Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. Dragic averaged 20.3 points and 5.9 assists per game that season but just missed the cut to make the All-Star Game. Sarver’s reaction fits his reputation for trying to run his franchise on the cheap, something that continues throughout how the franchise handled Deandre Ayton’s maximum extension this summer (although, to be fair , he paid for the center and the team is now $16.9 million in luxury tax).
Sarver may have bigger problems than this upcoming story.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA is “sort of at the final stage of the investigation” into the toxic workplace, including sexual harassment, that Sarver allegedly created in Phoenix and has been detailed by an ESPN report. Sarver denied the allegations. It would be a bit like the NBA dropping this report in the offseason, perhaps around the time football was gaining momentum, so the attention of the sports public would have been a bit scattered. The conclusion of this report and the sanctions that could result from it remain to be determined.