Phoenix Suns fans deserve more from their beloved franchise

Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Robert Sarver (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Founded in 1968, the Phoenix Suns are yet to win an NBA championship. You’re likely a Suns fan reading this, so I apologise in advance for bringing your attention back to that fact.

It’s an important one though, one that ultimately underlines the premise of this article. Phoenix fans have had plenty to celebrate over the years – magical playoff wins, superstar players delivering historic performances.

That elusive championship remains, with disastrous, non-basketball related actions threatening to further the drought. One day it will end to the chorus of jubilous celebration and the production of special memories, yet for now, those words don’t echo. This is a team that, up until the last two seasons, were left in the doldrums of NBA insignificance having missed the postseason for ten straight years.

The Phoenix Suns have now arisen into the light, awoken back to a team competing at the league’s brightest stages. So, when Robert Sarver places a darkness back over his own franchise, fans have a right to be frustrated and angry.

Calling the Suns Sarver’s franchise is also grossly unfair. Sporting organizations run for the people, a hard sentiment to recognise when it generates so much financial gain for those involved. As soon as you step away from that philosophy, your chances of success become minimal.

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

If Sarver’s actions, ones of misogyny, racism and sexual harassment, have even the slightest impact on the on-court performances of the Suns, then he should go. If they have no impact at all, as seemed to be the case last season, then he still should go.

Fans want on-court success sure, but they also want pride in knowing that their franchise is one that practices and maintains the values that modern society expects. If Sarver is forced to sell the Suns, in a situation adjacent to Donald Sterling in 2014, then it will be the fans who orchestrate the public pressure to make it happen.

This is a period of golden opportunity for the Suns – a talented basketball team contending in what is a league of parity right now. Yet, when the time for unity is needed more than ever, one man threatens to derail the success that he himself helped build.

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The fans are the key pillars, without them the team is nothing. This is quite frankly an embarrassing 48 hours for the franchise. For a loyal fanbase who wants nothing more than on and off-court success, you deserve so much better than this debacle.