Robert Sarver tells his side

Throughout the lockout, Robert Sarver was portrayed as one of the leaders of the hardliners, an owner who wanted to line his pockets more than play basketball.

He was forced to bite his tongue amid anonymous reports of his wife requesting the midlevel in a designer bag and Sarver being one of more difficult owners to deal with toward the goal of reaching an agreement.

Sarver finally got to tell his side of the story to The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro in an article posted Tuesday night and didn’t hold back.

“I was consistently at the forefront of trying to get a deal done, knowing it was important for our fans to see NBA basketball again this season,” Sarver told Coro.

David Stern corroborated that point by saying Sarver was “opposite” of the public’s perception of him, as we saw in reports near the end of the lockout by CBSSports’ Ken Berger and ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Coro went on to ask him whether he was concerned this reputation would damage the Suns’ attempts to reload with cap space next summer.

“I was concerned, and that was probably the toughest part about not being able to get the record straight,” Sarver said. “It’s important that Phoenix is viewed as a place players want to come to.”

This is ultimately the most important part of this story. Regardless of what went on in those boardrooms — and I see no reason not to trust Sarver that some of those reports were overblown — the most important part is for the Suns to remain a franchise free agents want to sign with.

Jerry Colangelo always leveraged the Suns’ player-friendly reputation along with the desirable nature of living in Phoenix to reel in his share of free agents. Next year it will be Sarver’s turn to do just that to put to rest any worries about his reputation in the aftermath of the lockout.

Tags: Robert Sarver

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