If it’s not for an arena then, what for?
What if his plan really is to just get the refurb completed and nothing more? Why would he threaten to move if it didn’t happen quickly enough in his mind? He certainly has the time, and if he is able to make the Suns a winner again, he could give the new arena route a real shot in 2020 or 2022 and probably (very easily) get the state’s approval.
What if fan’s dreams really do come true, and Robert Sarver is trying to spit-shine the arena, make it sparkling and like-new, all to raise the value of the property (thus the property’s equity), allowing him to sell the Suns for that much more?
But why now? Why do it so quickly?
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Sarver is a little older. Not old, by any means, but he is 57. It is certainly possible that he is eying a full-time San Diego retirement while he still has the energy and mental faculties about him to remain active in life, but loose from the constant constraints of running an extremely competitive and visible business.
Unlike Jerry Colangelo, Sarver’s entire life hasn’t been sports. In fact, prior to the Suns, he really didn’t have any major personal connections to sports in anyway outside of support of his Tucson-based alma mater.
When purchasing the Suns, he likely thought that owning the team was going to be fun and that based on the success that Colangelo had he was going to be able to remain competitive fairly easily and consistently.
Then, if he finally was the one who brought the franchise a championship, he would be beloved beyond his imagination and all the world would be roses.
However, now, while still at an early-retirement age, there is no one more hated, despised, and untrustworthy in Arizona than he – and it’s a truth of life that he can not avoid.
Every time he speaks publicly he is ridiculed (he therefore does so very infrequently). He undoubtedly feels the constant pressure to succeed at the highest level, a near impossible task as the man who replaced the Godfather of Arizona sports.
He is also attempting to do so all in the face of constant failure, and the weight of his basketball missteps and poor decision making are probably mounting more and more heavily on his mind with every loss, and bad press clipping.
He most certainly too hates being hated.
It does not matter if he was competitive and cut throat in the banking industry. Sarver did not buy the Suns thinking that one day he would be placed on Arizona’s anti-Mount Rushmore. He wanted to be the one who brought the franchise’s first title. He wanted the opportunity to do what Colangelo couldn’t. He seemingly wanted the challenge, but has accomplished the exact opposite.
There are people in this world who love being the villain.
I have no doubt in my mind that Sarver is not one of those people.