Suns fans raise money for Robert Sarver protest billboard

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A draft of Alex Smith's anti-Sarver billboard. (Source: GoFundMe) A draft of Alex Smith's anti-Sarver billboard. (Source: GoFundMe)
Robert Sarver bought the team in 2004. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Robert Sarver bought the team in 2004. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Smith met his fundraising goal in about five hours. (Source: GoFundMe) Smith met his fundraising goal in about five hours. (Source: GoFundMe)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Some fans of the Purple and Orange are seeing red. They're blaming the Phoenix Suns' recent struggles on the team's owner. 

After three straight losing seasons, the Phoenix Suns appear to be going down that path again. 

[READ MORE: Eric Bledsoe leaves team after reeling Suns fire Watson]

The team has a 1-3 record on the season so far.

Just this weekend, head coach Earl Watson was fired. And on Monday, point guard Eric Bledsoe was sent home. 

[READ MORE: Suns guard Eric Bledsoe: 'I Dont wanna be here.']

National sports analysts are calling the Suns the NBA's "most hopeless franchise."

Fan Alex Smith sadly agrees.  

[RELATED: Suns fire head coach Earl Watson]

"We're tired," Smith said. "We've seen players come and go, coaches change over, a couple GMs now. What's the one constant here? [Robert] Sarver."

Smith came up with an idea: put up a billboard in protest of Sarver, the team's owner, and hope he sees it. 

"The message on the billboard is simply going to read #SarverOut," said Smith. 

Smith wants him to sell the team. 

"He's not qualified to be an owner in the NBA," he said. 

He started an online fundraiser asking for just over $1,600, enough for one week on a downtown Phoenix LED billboard.

To his surprise, he wasn't the only one who feels that way. His goal was met in just five hours. 

"We're the voice of the people, and these organizations are nothing without their fans," said Smith. "The Suns organization, we know can perform at top notch, we just need to get some change in there."  

Smith wants to get the message up for 10 days starting Nov. 6 when the Suns play several home game in a row. If there's enough interest, he wants to consider selling t-shirts for fans to wear to future games and buy even more billboard time.

There's another separate online fundraiser to buy the $1 billion team from Sarver. As of Tuesday night, it had raised nothing. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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