Star Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, has purchased a minority ownership with the Phoenix Suns, finally lending some much-needed cred to the team’s front office.
Adrian Wojnarowski and Adam Schefter have reported Larry Fitzgerald has purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns, and I don’t know what to do with my hands.
First of all, how about that Woj-Schef collaboration? It is like a Flintstones-Jetsons crossover we didn’t know we needed, but are so glad we got.
It is hard to say exactly how much stake Fitz actually purchased, but my guess is not a lot. Statista values the Phoenix Suns franchise at $1.5 billion (with a B), and while the future Hall of Fame wide receiver has done well for himself financially over the course of his storied career, he hasn’t done that well.
When Jay-Z bought into the Brooklyn Nets, he owned 1.5% of the team. That’s my estimate of about how much Fitz bought in for.
The surprising part of this story is something I knew, but didn’t fully appreciate: Larry Fitzgerald and Robert Sarver are friends. Fitz has been championing the franchise for a while now, but has also sat in on front office interviews. Fitzgerald said:
"“I have a special place in my heart for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, and I have a great deal of respect for Robert [Sarver]. He has become a dear friend and trusted confidante. He is a big part of why I am making this commitment.”"
Are we sure he is talking about the same Robert Sarver? The same one who is notorious for his poor decisions and caused fans to clamor for an NBA seizure and sell of the franchise?
Sarver added to the mutual admiration:
"“Larry has been a great ambassador for our organization for years,” Sarver said in a statement. “He is an Arizona icon and a businessman, passionate philanthropist, and leader. He brings a unique perspective from outside basketball but still grounded in sport, and we welcome him as a valued partner and investor.”"
If the Woj-Schef combo is the Flintstones-Jetsons mashup, the Fitzgerald-Sarver combo feels like a Breaking Bad-Real Housewives crossover.
They don’t really fit, but you know what, if Breaking Bad show-runner, Vince Gilligan, got involved with Real Housewives…I’m interested.
The same goes with Fitz-Sarver. (Fitzarver? Did I just coin a horrible celebrity couple nickname?) Bringing in the most beloved, respected, and cherished sports figure in the state into one of its most despised ownership groups, suddenly gives said ownership group some credibility.
Sure, Sarver owns the Suns, but so does Larry Fitzgerald now. That’s potentially enough to make the Phoenix Suns very attractive for future free agents, and keep current stars (ahem, Devin Booker) around for a while. It also could put a voice of reason in the room where it happens, and a bring different mindset to the front office.
Larry Fitzgerald won’t play a huge role with the Suns until his football career ends (he just signed a one-year extension with the Cardinals), but this is an extremely positive step toward re-branding the Phoenix Suns’ tarnished ownership group.
Overall, this is another step in the right direction for this organization. I like it.