Suns legend Charles Barkley is known for speaking his mind. If you find yourself on this site, I’m sure you’re aware of this.
So it should come as no surprise that when the Round Mound of Rebound was asked about the role that Sarver plays in the Suns’ current coaching search and the courting of free agents, he was candid.
“Robert does not have a good reputation,” Barkley said this week in an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
“He’s a control freak, apparently. I want to make it perfectly clear that Robert Sarver has always treated me great. We haven’t had a lot of interaction, but he’s always treated me great.”
“But from people who have worked for the Suns, and talking to some of these coaches, Robert wants to make all of the decisions. He won’t give control to the people who work for him. And the reputation of him, plain and simple. He hires them but he won’t let them do their jobs. That’s his reputation, and I’ve got to take their word for it.
“Like I said, Robert has always treated me great,” Barkley added. “But the people I know personally who have played for him tell me, ‘This dude, he wants to make all the decisions. He won’t let people do their jobs.’ That’s his reputation, plain and simple.”
Barkley’s assessment is hardly ground-breaking. Sarver is bad at owning a basketball team. The Suns make money, but every NBA team makes money, so that’s not a great barometer.
Phoenix is a loser by virtually any metric you can muster. When a problem is that widespread, it starts at the top. Keep that in mind when you fret over Ayton or Doncic, Jackson or Bagley this summer. Those decisions are not nearly as important as some paint them to be.
So many of the Suns’ problems have little to do with basketball. In the opinion of this author step one to fixing this thing is to operate under the assumption that Devin Booker doesn’t want to be in Phoenix and is working on finding a way out. Now fix that. Things are bad. Get hungry and get desperate and get a little crazy.
The Suns have been around 50 years. You’re alive for the worst of it. We need change now.