Robert Sarver should run for John McCain’s Senate seat. The parallels between these two buffoons are unmistakable. McCain has a done a masterful job of helping to run the country into the ground by championing such follies as corporate wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan and selling out the American people by supporting the bailouts which has resulted in the most prolific bank robbery in the history of the world. And Robert Sarver has fattened his pockets through his personal version of fan bailout which has resulted in running the Phoenix Suns into the ground.
Five years after Jerry Colangelo transferred control of what should have been a “dynasty for the decade,” Sarver destroyed the Phoenix Suns in a very similar fashion to what McCain has helped to do to the United States people. The United States is a former world power on the verge of collapse, and the Seven Seconds Or Less (SSOL) crew is but a mere memory and is presently on life support.
Even Ray Charles could see that the O’Neal-Marion deal was a colossal mistake. The Suns won one, EXACTLY ONE playoff game with Shaq. Shaq was unable to play with Steve Nash because of their combined problems covering the pick-and-roll and Shaq’s lumbering transition style turned Nash into a very average point guard.
At least Kerr and Sarver could have received a first round pick for Shaq.
Then there is the Joe Johnson fiasco. With Nash, Marion, Stoudamire and Johnson, the Suns were set for the at least the next six years. Keeping the core of All-Stars together was a guarantee of 60 wins a year with the most exciting style in basketball. Even with Sarver’s penny-pinching ways, he could have surrounded the core with aging low cost veterans and the Suns are a championship contender until Nash‘s aging body breaks down, and by then, Johnson would become the main decision maker by default. How could Sarver have given up Johnson? Sarver will say that Johnson wanted out of Phoenix. What Sarver will not tell you is that Sarver twice lied to Johnson about contract extensions and salary increases. Would you want to work for a boss that repeatedly lied to you about compensation? Although this Sarver character flaw may not work well in professional sports, it would serve him well as a U. S. Senator.
Making money, not winning, is what Sarver is all about. Again, for financial reasons, Sarver and Kerr traded the Number 21 pick (Rajon Rondo) to Boston and they signed the most colossal bust in recent Suns history, Marcus Banks, to a five-year, $24 million deal to serve as Nash’s back up. Fourteen million dollars separated Sarver and Joe Johnson. Ask yourself, would you rather pay $14 million a year to Diaw and Banks or just give that money to Joe Johnson? Again, Sarver moved forward with all the judgment and wisdom that being a Senator requires.
To save even more money, Sarver sold the Number 27 pick in the draft to Portland who ended up being Portland’s Sergio Rodriguez. By selling the Number 24 pick (i.e., Rudy Fernandez) also to Portland, Sarver saved three million dollars. Before Sarver writes a rebuttal and tells the Phoenix fans that signing Fernandez would have put Phoenix over the luxury cap, keep in mind that Fernandez did not come to the NBA for two more years. Sarver and Kerr could have signed Fernandez and did not have to pay any salary to him for two years. Sarver, in effect, told the Phoenix Suns fans to "Go to hell, I need the $3 million more than the team." With this move, Sarver crossed the line from just being a miserly owner to that being one of the most intellectually deprived owners in professional sports. In the 2008 draft, after his performance in the Olympics, Fernandez would have been one of the top three picks. The damage to the Suns future by this “Senatoresque” type of move is incalculable.
Let’s not forget about Tim Thomas and how Sarver refused to pay an NBA paltry sum of money to keep a 6-10 big man who saved the Suns from elimination from the Lakers in the playoffs. A 6-10 big man who could shoot the three and who fit very nicely into the SSOL system and the Suns got nothing in value for him. That paltry sum of money came in handy for Sarver as he was free to buy Kerr several rounds of drinks as they reminisced about their old times on Speedway Boulevard. Let’s not forget about how Sarver dealt Suns big man, Kurt Thomas, to Seattle along with the 2008 and 2010 first-round picks from which Sarver saved about $8 million. No harm, no foul, right? Not exactly, Seattle waived him and Thomas landed in San Antonio, where he was a big factor in helping the Spurs beat the Suns in the 2008 playoffs as he played well during crunch time in all five playoff games. Do you remember the prolific three point sharpshooter, Quentin Richardson, for whom the SSOL was seemingly invented was released over a small difference in compensation as well.
ROBERT SARVER FOR UNITED STATES SENATE