After ending an 11-year playoff absence and reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993, the Phoenix Suns entered the 2021-22 NBA season with the aim of legitimizing their rise to the top of Western. Conference.
A key figure behind the scenes, especially given the contractual statuses of Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, is longtime Suns majority owner Robert Sarver.
Phoenix’s ability to continue building a league largely depends on Sarver’s ability – and willingness – to keep the roster intact. While Paul and Bridges have both signed lucrative deals – as have 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 upon expiration. , a bad sign considering Ayton is lined up to sign a five-year extension similar to that of her classmates Luka Doncic and Trae Young.
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 owner of the Suns.
Who is Robert Sarver? Background, story of the owner of Suns
Sarver, born in Tuscon, Arizona, is the son of Jack Sarver, a prominent businessman in the area.
At 21, Robert Sarver graduated from the University of Arizona in 1982 and became a certified public accountant in 1983.
According to a 2005 profile on 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. He would later become president, president and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation in 2003.
Ownership of the sun
Sarver’s interest in owning the Suns stems from a lifelong interest in the sport and his ties to the University of Arizona. The late Lute Olson, who coached in Arizona for 25 seasons, was a good friend of Sarver and, upon 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 was an NBA record at the time.
Within months of Sarver’s tenure as franchise owner, the Suns have signed free agent Steve Nash, marking the beginning of a series of successful years. Sarver also promoted Kerr to the position of general manager of the team in 2007.
Despite successful seasons, Phoenix was unable to get over the championship hump under Sarver’s ownership, as the young talent went elsewhere due to stalled contract negotiations, similar circumstances to Ayton’s current situation.
In addition to the Suns, Sarver is the owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, which won titles in 2007, 2009 and 2014.
Outside of basketball, Sarver owns the Spanish La Liga Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, SAD football team.
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’s net worth as of October 2020 is $ 400 million.
The Suns were valued at $ 1.8 billion in Forbes’ most recent assessment of NBA franchises, published in October 2021.