After ending an 11-year playoff drought and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993, the Phoenix Suns entered the 2021-22 NBA season with the goal of legitimizing their rise to the top of the Conference. West.
A key figure behind the scenes, especially given the contract statuses of Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, is Suns majority owner Robert Sarver.
Phoenix’s ability to continue to advance toward a championship depends largely on Sarver’s ability and willingness to keep the roster intact. While Paul and Bridges signed lucrative deals, as did Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, all eyes are on the dynamic between Sarver and Ayton, as contract extension talks between the franchise and its star center stalled at the Deadline, a bad sign considering Ayton is in line to sign a five-year extension similar to his fellow drafters Luka Doncic and Trae Young.
MORE: Suns and Sarver Release Official Statements in Response to Possible ESPN Story
With Ayton’s situation in Phoenix reaching an interesting crossroads, Sarver’s role is more important than ever.
Who is Robert Sarver? Here’s everything you need to know about the longtime Suns owner.
Who is Robert Sarver? Background, history of the owner of the Suns
Sarver, who was born in Tuscon, Arizona, is the son of Jack Sarver, who was a prominent businessman in the area.
At age 21, Robert Sarver graduated from the University of Arizona in 1982 and became a certified public accountant in 1983.
According to a 2005 Profile of Sarver in the Tuscon Citizen, founded the National Bank of Tuscon in 1984 at the age of 23, selling the bank to Zions Bancorporation in 1994. After becoming Chairman, Chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation in 2003.
Property of the suns
Sarver’s interest in owning the Suns stems from a life-long interest in sports and his connections to the University of Arizona. The late Lute Olson, who trained in Arizona for 25 seasons, was good friends with Sarver and, discovering Sarver’s interest in the property, connected the businessman with Steve Kerr.
In April 2004, Sarver bought the Suns from Jerry Colangelo for $ 401 million, which at the time was an NBA record.
Just a few months after Sarver’s tenure as franchise owner, the Suns signed free agent Steve Nash, marking the beginning of a successful series of years. Sarver also promoted Kerr to the team’s general manager position in 2007.
Despite successful seasons, Phoenix has been unable to overcome the championship hump under Sarver’s ownership as the young talent has gone elsewhere due to deadlocks in contract negotiations, circumstances similar to Ayton’s current situation.
In addition to the Suns, Sarver is the owner of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury, which won titles in 2007, 2009 and 2014.
Outside of basketball, Sarver owns the soccer club Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, SAD of the Spanish League.
Sarver remains the primary owner of the San Diego-based real estate investment firm Southwest Value Partners, which he co-founded in 1990. according to Forbes.
According to Yahoo Finance, Sarver has a net worth of $ 400 million as of October 2020.
The Suns were valued at $ 1.8 billion in Forbes’ most recent valuation of NBA franchises, published in October 2021.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.