I've never really had a good feel for Robert Sarver. I had always fancied him as a Mark Cuban knock-off (without the 10 figure net worth). After hearing his take on his tenure with the Suns, I feel like I know him a little better. Here are 5 things I took away from this interview...
- He really wants to win a title. I don't think he moved into the House that Jerry Built just because it had nice carpet.
- He did not force D'Antoni out. I think that's more Steve Kerr's thing. Sarver seems pretty content to let the basketball people make the basketball decisions. He backed his coach up to the point that the coach conflicted with the GM. Fair enough.
- Selling the draft picks may have been just as much D'Antoni's idea as it was his. He justifies the sale of the picks by saying he'd rather use that money on veterans to fill out the bench, not unlike a certain short rotation playing, rookie averse coach who just moved to the Big Apple, no? I'm sure the financial benefits were attractive to him, too, but I believe that GM D'Antoni had a larger role in those decisions than we've been giving him credit for. (GM D'Antoni's impact on the Suns may be much larger and worse than we've given him credit for.)
- He's not cheap. He (vaguely) admits that he may have misspent some of his money, but really, given the size of the Suns payroll, including the 4 Mil a year that Coach D was getting, it's impossible to call him cheap. Let's stop doing it.
- The future is Amare, Leandro, and Boris. I'm OK with this as long as it's true. That's a pretty good core to build around. The biggest problem is that there's not a floor leader among them. The second biggest problem is that that building process can't start in earnest while the Suns still have Nash, Shaq, and to a lesser extent, Grant Hill around. There's too much money tied up in old players. I think a lot of his legacy is going to revolve around Steve Kerr and his decision-making in the next two years.
I think as Suns fans, our biggest problem is we don't know what we have at any level in this organization right now. The GM is, by his own admission, a moron right now. (With emphasis on the "right now" part. There are still 2 years left for Shaq to make him look like a gen... you know what? Just don't think about it.) The coach is non-existent. And the team hasn't even played half a season together.
However, based on the admittedly scant evidence in this article, I think we've got a pretty good guy in the owner's box 3rd row seat. Nobody ever got good at what they do by consistently cruising to victory day after day. He's had his ass handed to him both on and off the court in the last few months. Feeling pretty good about him right now, I'm curious to see how he handles the pressure of the coming year.