Robert Sarver made headlines again on Wednesday after it was revealed that the 60-year-old millionaire now intends to sell his stake in the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. As it turns out, however, Sarver's recent decision may not have been as noble as some of us might have been led to believe.
ESPN's NBA insider Ramona Shelburne dropped a truth bomb on Wednesday's episode of NBA Today with regard to the circumstances surrounding Sarver's decision to sell his teams. Apparently, Sarver had to be pressured into making this decision, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver also playing a major role in the same (h/t Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report):
“There was a lot of private pressure on Robert Sarver behind the scenes,” Shelburne said. “We heard PayPal, but there were a lot of other league sponsors and team sponsors that were lining up to pull away from the Suns and not be publicly associated with them.
“There was also the pressure applied by other owners and Adam Silver behind the scenes. Adam Silver is obviously very good at applying pressure when needed to be and facilitating these types of conversations and discussions to get to this place.”
Silver took a lot of heat after the NBA announced their decision to slap Robert Sarver with nothing more than a one-year suspension. Many believed that this was too light a sanction for his gross transgression.
Regardless if Adam Silver himself was pressured into pressuring Sarver to remove himself from the equation, the fact of the matter is that the commissioner reportedly made his stance abundantly clear. He played a key role in Sarver's impending exit, which in the end, is one of the most significant outcomes of this entire saga.