Rumors are spreading about former President Obama becoming a Phoenix Sun owner.
According to Robert Sarver, the teams current owner, NBA the team will be going for sale. Sarver stated he desire to sell the teams in September after valuable sponsors like Verizon Wireless and PayPal, laid plans to cut sponsorship deals with the Suns.
Sarver received a one-year ban as well as $10M fine by NBA officials after allegations arose of his involvement in racist, sexist, and bullying behavior.
According to the NBA Sarver used the N-word on at least five occasions. Furthermore, he displayed inappropriate activity. Some activities includied demeaning language and behavior to female colleagues. “The days of somebody being able to put in a little amount of money and run the team, those days are over… The one guy who might pull it off and I heard, I’m probably breaking some news here, but I heard Obama is involved in one of the groups,” Bill Simmons said on his The Ringer podcast, via NBC Sports.
As far as the former President Obama rumor, the now 61-year-old visited Valley Wednesday.
Outlets are saying that this coincides with a report that he is part of an ownership group interested in buying the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, news that intrigued at least one member of the NBA organization.
“I think anybody would value a partnership with someone like that,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I would love to just pick his brain”. He also stated, “and just sit and listen for hours about life and decisions and things like that. … When I saw that, I thought that’s pretty cool. I think it speaks to what the guys have built here.”
On Wednesday Obama will speak at night at Cesar Chavez High School in Laveen Village. It’s a campaign stop for the former president and basketball fan as Tuesday’s midterm elections near, but he still might find a minute to shoot some hoops.
His visit follows a recent conversation on “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” when Simmons told former Suns star Charles Barkley, “I’m probably breaking some news here, but I heard Obama’s involved in one of the groups. And that’s the one guy that I feel like they would make him the actual face (of the group), and the money guys would be so happy.”
Suns coach Monty Williams commented about Obama’s possible involvement with the franchise earlier this month.
“I don’t tend to make comments about speculation, but I think anybody would value a partnership with someone like that,” Williams said, as reported by HoopsHype. “For me, as an African-American, even though you may have differences of opinions on certain views politically. He continued, “whatever that looks like, someone that’s been through those kinds of experiences from a leadership standpoint. Also stating “I would love to just pick his brain and just sit and listen for hours about life and decisions and things like that.”
Sarver staked claim over the franchise for $401 million in 2004 – and nearly 20 years later, Forbes values the team at $1.8B. The cost for the sun estimates at $3B. Other rumored buyers include Disney’s Bob Iger, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison.