Phoenix Suns: Former Head Coach and GM Speak on the Sarver Story

Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Roughly two weeks ago, several online media outlets hinted about a story featuring sexism, racism, and overall horrible workplace etiquette from Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver that would soon surface. Almost like meteorologists, they predicted the coming storm.

Today, it finally made landfall.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes published an article this afternoon, detailing that exact behaviour from Sarver, which he learned about after interviewing “more than 70” past and present Phoenix employees. Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley, as well as Sarver himself, both released statements shortly after, collectively calling the report inaccurate and utterly false.

But admist all the noise, two notable ex-Suns decided to weigh in on the topic. Longtime Suns general manger Ryan McDonough hopped on Twitter today, posting a video of himself where he mentioned his disturbed state when reading Holmes’s article, while also acknowledging the courage of all the former Suns employees who came forward.

McDonough also mentioned his support and sympathies for Phoenix’s current players, especially Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges, who he drafted months before his firing.

Earl Watson, who Holmes mentioned as a frequent victim of Sarver’s alleged behaviour, also spoke about the article. Now working for the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach, he released a statement through them.

Watson made sure to show praise for those who fighting against “toxic environments of racial insensitivity, sexual harassment, and micro aggressions with their truth.”  Watson also aimed to remind everyone about all the work that remains undone in regard to this, and noted that he is not “interested in engaging in an ongoing battle of fact.” Instead, he plans to speak more on his experiences when he feels more comfortable.

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As expected, NBA announced its plans to conduct a full scale investigation into the Suns and Sarver earlier today. In his defense, Sarver publicly welcomed the investigation, hoping for it to prove his innocence against the countless disturbing stories involving him.