Robert Sarver

After discussing the varied responsibilities of an owner I felt like Sarver deserved a post all of his own.  He is just unbelievably cheap, but this in itself is not unique among owners.  What makes Sarver such a special case is that he owns a team in a relatively large TV market, and one that has had recent success.  Other owners derided for a lack of spending own teams in places such as Buffalo, Memphis or Milwaukee.  Phoenix is the 12th largest TV market in the country.  None of the above professional sports teams are even in the top 30.  Sarver has also presided over a successful team over the past few years thanks to the superlative play of Steve Nash.  Despite this success, Sarver has repeatedly chosen the bottom line over improving his team.  The suns sold the rights to their first round draft pick in four consecutive drafts from 2004-2007.  The players lost; Luol Deng, Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez.  Deng and Rondo are stars and Robinson and Fernandez are serviceable rotation players.  By failing to even attempt to improve on his team through the most cost effective way possible, the draft, Sarver has failed in his responsibilities as an owner.


2 thoughts on “Robert Sarver

  1. “Sarver has failed in his responsibilities as an owner.” What are these responsibilities, and how are they justified? Are they different from the responsibilities of the owners of other businesses? Have you found anyone who is trying to answer these kinds of questions in a compelling way?

    • The responsibilities of an owner are varied and certainly he has a right and responsibility to make a profit if possible but I would argue that his greater responsibility is to put a competitive team on the floor. This responsibility is both to the competitive balance and fairness of the league as well as the fans and supporters of the team. This Malcolm Gladwell article attempts to answer that question and while it is purely an opinion piece it is one that has some interesting views on sports ownership with respect to the ownership of other businesses.

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