A rather unsavory situation looms in the background of the Phoenix Suns‘ 17-game winning streak. But the ugliness surrounding the NBA‘s probe into alleged wrongdoings by current Suns governor Robert Sarver could, in time, give way to something more magical.
It remains to be seen whether Sarver will be forced to relinquish control of the team. If that is indeed the case, however, the Suns could be infused with the power of Mickey Mouse.
The NBA is investigating current Suns governor Robert Sarver
The Suns entered the 2021-22 season with a good deal of optimism following their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993. But those good feelings turned sour after ESPN‘s Baxter Holmes dropped a bombshell report detailing allegations of misogyny and racism against Suns governor Robert Sarver.
Nearly 70 current and former team employees alleged that Sarver has made racially insensitive remarks about players and staff throughout his 17-year tenure at the helm of the organization. Numerous accounts suggested Sarver used the N-word. One current employee said the NBA would be “appalled” at the happenings in Phoenix if it chose to investigate.
Indeed, the league has launched a probe into the allegations. Holmes reported earlier this week that attorneys leading the NBA’s investigation began requesting documents from the team.
It is feasible that, should the NBA conclude wrongdoing occurred, Sarver will be forced out of his role as governor. That would leave the Suns looking for a new figurehead. Interestingly, one of the persons interested has close ties with Chris Paul.
Outgoing Disney executive Bob Iger reportedly has interest in buying the team
The NBA already has established ties with Disney, with the two behemoths coming together to create a “bubble” that allowed for the conclusion of the 2019-20 season and ultimately saved the league over $1 billion.
Now, the ties between the NBA and Disney could become more personal.
Matthew Belloni of Puck reported over the weekend that outgoing Disney executive chairman Bob Iger is expressing interest in buying the Suns. Iger officially leaves Disney at the end of January 2022.
Iger has told at least a couple friends that he’d love to front a bid for the Phoenix Suns if the hoops team were to become available, which it just might in the next couple months.–Matthew Belloni of Puck
Belloni reported that “formal” conversations have not taken place. However, he noted Iger is close with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Iger also has close ties with CP3, who previously served as president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). He called Paul a “very good friend” last year, per Belloni.
Is it possible Phoenix could become the newest extension of the Magical Kingdom?
Obstacles still exist in Iger’s potential pursuit of the Suns
As of now, Iger’s reported interest in buying the Suns means very little.
The NBA has yet to move against Sarver. There is precedent for removing a sitting governor, as an investigation into former Los Angeles Clippers governor Donald Sterling resulted in the NBA banning him for life in 2014. However, the Sarver probe could take months to reach a conclusion.
Additionally, Belloni reported the Suns’ co-owners could have the “right of first refusal” even if the NBA attempts to remove Sarver. Moreover, Silver would have to begin a normal sale process. Still, Iger’s ties to Silver and Paul make him an increasingly intriguing figure should the team ultimately be up for sale.
The Suns’ red-hot start to the season proves they’re hardly Mickey Mouse contenders, but it’s not impossible the organization eventually gets some Disney flair.