Ex-Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is trying to rebuild some burnt bridges on his way out of town.
According to reports, the disgraced ex-Suns owner is giving $20K bonuses to ‘many’ team employees while also donating $5 million to the franchise’s charity. About 250-300 employees are expected to receive the bonuses, says ESPN.
Sarver, 61 years old, agreed to sell both the Phoenix Suns and their WNBA counterpart, the Phoenix Mercury, to billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia following an investigation into his alleged misconduct as owner.
As per the NBA’s investigation Sarver “used the N-word at least five teams ‘when recounting the statements of others” and was also responsible for instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees” such as sexual or flirtatious comments.
Clearly trying to make something of amends, Sarver’s team-wide bonuses come just about a week after the sale to Ishbia was made official on February 7. His gesture certainly didn’t go unnoticed, either as one Suns employee said to ESPN that it was “a classy way to move on.”
Suns employees were notified about the bonuses and Sarver’s donation to charity in an email from Ishbia on Thursday morning. Those who qualified for the $20,000 bonus, which they’d receive in their next paycheck, were full-time employees who started on or before Feb. 15, 2022. Between 250 and 300 employees will be impacted by the bonus, sources said. [via ESPN]
The Ishbia era in Phoenix has certainly gotten off to a promising start as the team acquired future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Durant to pair with Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton for a run at this year’s NBA title after losing to the Bucks in the Finals last season.
Heading into this week’s All-Star break, the Suns sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 32-27 record, sitting behind the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Sacramento Kings.
Durant, who has been ruled out since January 12 with an MCL sprain, will make his debut for the Suns sometime after the All-Star break.
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