The Phoenix Suns have fallen on hard times in recent years, racking up lottery picks and incapable of developing a talented team on paper into anything more than Devin Booker and a bunch of other young dudes. And with the Suns (once again) destined for a top-3 pick in next spring’s NBA Draft, it might seem like the franchise has hit rock bottom for fans, who haven’t seen the club reach the postseason since the 2009-10 season.
Well, as bad as all that sounds for Phoenix Suns fans, it may get even worse, because, according to a new report, the team’s owner, Robert Sarver, is threatening to move the franchise to either Seattle or Las Vegas because he’s not getting the support he wants for a new arena in Phoenix. That’s according to a columnist for the Arizona Republic, Laurie Roberts, who tweeted out the news, via Bleacher Report.
Sarver’s power move comes at the hands of Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and councilwomen Laura Pastor and Debra Star, who, as reported by the aforementioned Roberts, asked to postpone a vote today on contributing $150 million to renovate the Phoenix Suns’ home arena, the Talking Stick Resort Arena, because the deal wouldn’t pass. In Roberts’ piece, one Council, Michael Nowakowski, had this to say about why the renovation vote may fail, per the Arizona Republic.
“While I have always supported efforts to strengthen and maintain our economy, I must hold true to the value I place on making sure people are informed and heard,” he continued, sounding like a guy who is going to vote no.
“I want to make sure the community understands the economic impact of the arena, the responsibility the city has to the arena owner, what renovations are needed to continue operating the arena and the source of the funds that would be used for renovations.”
With Seattle lobbying for an NBA team since the Sonics were sold to Clay Bennett and moved to Oklahoma City a decade ago, Robert Sarver’s threat opens up the small chance of restoring the Association in the Emerald City. But, like the renovation he’s hoping for in Phoenix, he would need to find similar support in Seattle for a new arena or help with upgrades to Key Arena — which are happening with the new NHL franchise in the city.
Las Vegas has become a hotbed for pro sports teams, with the Golden Knights (NHL) and soon-to-be Raiders (NFL). And, with the future of sports gambling looking promising, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think the NBA will seriously consider Sin City as a viable option for a franchise, too.
Who knows how this all goes down, but the threat is real, so Phoenix Suns fans should be a little nervous as the renovation decision keeps getting pushed back. Stay tuned.