Robert Sarver To Sell Phoenix Suns & Mercury For $4 Billion Following ‘N-Word’ Controversy
Looks like Robert Sarver’s time as a basketball team owner is over!
According to reports, the Phoenix Suns and WNBA team Phoenix Mercury will soon no longer be owned by businessman Robert Sarver, 61. Billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia is reportedly finalizing a purchase of the professional basketball teams for $4 billion. The deal is expected to be completed in the near future
Reportedly, Mat Ishbia is no stranger to basketball. The wealthy businessman is a former Michigan State basketball player, racking up 3 seasons under Tom Izzo at the university. Mat Ishbia seemingly didn’t touch the court much during his time on the team, averaging 2.4 minutes per game, but he did win a National Championship alongside his teammates in 2000. After college, Ishbia made a fortune in the lending business and he now owns a majority stake in United Wholesale Mortgage, a company founded by his dad in the mid-80s. Ishbia is worth $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.
As you may recall, earlier this year Robert Sarver was hit with a one-year suspension and a $10 million fine following an investigation into his workplace conduct. The NBA learned that Robert Sarver used the n-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others” during his time with both franchises.
Sarver also allegedly acted inappropriately toward female staff members. The NBA said in a statement that there were “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” which included “sex-related comments.” Additionally, he reportedly engaged in “inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.”
After facing backlash for the seemingly light punishment, Sarver announced in September that he was placing his teams up for sale. Many big-name stars, including Shaquille O’Neal, Jeff Bezos, and Barack Obama, reportedly expressed interest in buying the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns, Sarver, nor the NBA have addressed the reported upcoming sale.
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