“Former Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is giving a $20,000 individual bonus to many team employees and is also donating $5 million to the team’s charity, sources told ESPN on Thursday,” Holmes wrote.
Sarver recently sold the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury to billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia. The former Suns owner was the subject of a 10-month investigation into his conduct during his time with the franchise.
According to Holmes, Ishbia bought a 57 percent controlling stake of the Suns for $2.28 billion.
It appears that at least one Suns employee appreciated Sarver’s parting gesture towards those in the organization.
“I will say, what a classy way to move on,” one current Suns employee told ESPN.
The Suns are looking like serious contenders in the Western Conference this season after orchestrating a deal for Kevin Durant with the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline. While Phoenix did have to move on from two of its best young wings in Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges, adding Durant immediately puts the Suns among the best teams in the Western Conference.
Phoenix has been in contention for an NBA title over the past few seasons, making the NBA Finals in the 2020-21 campaign. The Suns took a 2-0 series lead against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals, but they lost four straight games to lose the series.
Last season, Phoenix earned the No. 1 seed in the West and the team’s head coach, Monty Williams, won the league’s Coach of the Year Award.
However, Phoenix didn’t live up to expectations in the playoffs, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round.
With Sarver on his way out, Ishbia is looking to usher in a new era in Suns basketball.
The team had to deal with a lot of off-the-court distractions created by Sarver’s actions and the eventual investigation into his conduct, so the team and its fans certainly hope that is behind them as the 2022-23 season moves closer to the playoffs.
According to Holmes, Sarver personally sold his 37 percent stake in the Suns to Ishbia for $1.48 billion.
“Sarver is expected to clear nearly double the amount that he and a group paid for the team in 2004 — then a record $401 million from former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo,” Holmes wrote.
Since the former Suns owner is making such a massive profit, it’s good to see that he at least gave something back to members of the organization on his way out.