Reports: Phoenix Suns new owner approved; president and CEO Jason Rowley resigns
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — With just a few days before the NBA trade deadline, the Phoenix Suns are experiencing big moves in their leadership. On Monday evening, the NBA gave the green light to Mat Ishbia to buy the franchise and the Phoenix Mercury from embattled Robert Sarver, according to Yahoo! Sports and The Athletic. The NBA Board of Governors approved the deal 29-0, with the Cleveland Cavaliers owner not voting. Ishbia is expected to be announced as the new owner on Tuesday. He paid an estimated $4 billion for the teams, which is the most in NBA history. At 42 years old, he will be one of the youngest NBA team owners.
Ishbia played college basketball at Michigan State University, where he won a national championship in 2000. He worked as a student assistant coach with the team for a year after graduating and is still friends with MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo. Ishbia is the chairman, president, and chief executive of United Wholesale Mortgage and is reportedly worth $5.1 billion.
The deal is key for on-the-court moves as well, with the NBA trade deadline being Thursday at 1 p.m. Arizona time. The Suns are looking to get players in the trade market, hoping to improve and make a push for another shot at an NBA championship. They didn’t do that before Ishbia became the owner.
Also, on Monday, Jason Rowley, the Phoenix Suns president and CEO, reportedly resigned, according to multiple reports. It was ESPN’s senior NBA writer Baxter Holmes who broke the news. The Associated Press also had a source that confirmed the information. According to ESPN, governor Sam Garvin told staff members through an email. Rowley has been with the organization since 2007 and team president since 2012.
The NBA suspended ex-owner Sarver in September for one year, plus fined him $10 million after an investigation found he had engaged in what the league called “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.” Sarver’s suspension came nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic and hostile incidents over his nearly two-decade tenure overseeing the franchise. Shortly afterward, Sarver announced he would be looking to sell the Suns and the Mercury.
Editor’s Note; Arizona’s Family previously identified Ishbia as the youngest NBA team owner. It is actually the principal owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Peter J. Holt, who is 36 years old We regret the error.
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