Robert Sarver needs to stay away from Phoenix Suns HC search

Monty Williams Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Monty Williams Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It appears that James Jones’ primary target for head coach is Monty Williams, and has a second meeting set up. If this is true, than Robert Sarver needs to stay away.

Led by James Jones, the Phoenix Suns appear to have narrowed in on and met with once already, Monty Williams, current assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The first meeting has apparently gone so well that the two sides are going to meet again later this week.

Unfortunately, this time there will be an elephant in the room: owner Robert Sarver.

For a flailing franchise that has had but one consistent throughout this extended era of tumult, that being Sarver, success will only come to them if they (he) finally learn(s) from their (his) many mistakes in the past, and in many ways, move in the exact opposite direction.

While the hiring of Jones as GM, who prior to his interim period was inexperienced – and based on the lack of moves last season is still fairly inexperienced – an then the addition of Jeff Bower (who’s title of Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations traditionally suggests that of someone above a General Manager, but who will report to Jones) is’t necessarily a step in the right direction, but if nothing else, at least the concept of hiring a head coach with some experience, even if it with only moderate on court success, is.

So now, with one interview done, and obviously a willingness to potentially choose the Suns as his destination for next season (there is obviously reported interest as well from the Lakers with other scenarios floating around), if Jones can narrow in on the specifics and get Monty to choose Phoenix, it really would be a big deal for the franchise.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

The problem that both might have in consummating and finalizing a deal is with Robert Sarver – and Sarver now being a part of this next meeting.

In my own personal opinion of Sarver, I will always fall back on one quote and on one aspect of his style of ownership.

The quote: “I don’t know much about basketball,” given on the day of his first press conference as owner with Jerry Colangelo sitting two feet away (which I admit was 15 years ago, but be honest with yourself, has he really shown much improvement?)

The style of ownership: the constant unwillingness to spend money on big contracts, big name executives, and veteran, capable coaches, always preferring to go the cheaper route.

Sarver also hates to give up his voice in the organization, as made most evident by the franchise’s inability to sign Mike Budenholzer last season when Phoenix too got to the second meeting, which included Sarver, when the possibility fell apart.

Was Budenholzer probably trying to leverage the Milwaukee Bucks to get their job all along? Possibly. Could the Suns not offered him the autonomy he requested as well as the salary and stolen him away anyway?

C’Mon. The answer is yes.

I get that Sarver wants to be involved. He wants to have a voice in the franchise that he owns. I really do get it, and I am certainly not going to sit here and say that I too wouldn’t want a loud voice if I were in a similar situation (then again, I do  know much about basketball, hehe).

But Sarver’s injection into the day-to-day organizational decisions over the last 15 years has proven to be nothing but a failure.

There is not one (public) move that Sarver has played a central role in that has appeared to have been a sign of some sort of Midas touch.

Shoot, I don’t even know if he has been the central figure in a move/hire that shows he has a copper touch, or even limestone.

This head coaching hire is far too important to screw up.

Whoever the next head coach is, the Phoenix Suns will be on their seventh in seven calendar years – which is unbelievable  to think about – and Devin Booker, the only guaranteed star on the roster, will have his fifth head coach in as many seasons.

While I am still hesitant about James Jones’ own judgement and ability, I am at least willing to reserve (some) judgement myself, and if he believes that Monty Williams is the best possible hire they can make, then the GM needs to remove all roadblocks possible and get it done.

If Sarver steps into this next meeting and in anyway discusses a handcuff of Monty, finagles about the salary (Williams is bound to demand much more than any head coach the Suns have employed since Mike D’Antoni), or in any way give Williams reason to pause, the potential hire will undoubtedly back away and wait for the next opportunity that will not include so many obstacles.

Sarver should not be a part of any hiring meetings. He needs to show both his general manager and potential new head coach complete trust by neither being seen nor heard.

His existence should only be felt in this entire process when Jones and Williams agree on a contract and they literally call Sarver to let him know that a deal is done.

Heck, maybe Sarver can throw him a party when Williams finally makes it out to the Valley of the Suns after the 76ers finish up their playoff run next month.

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Robert Sarver needs to let the professionals – those who he hired to do the research, talk to everyone, and make the important decisions about the direction of the franchise – do their jobs, without worry, and hire who they want to hire.

Robert Sarver needs, for once, to Stay Away.