There’s about to be a new sheriff in the city of Phoenix with billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia reportedly set to purchase the Phoenix Suns. In addition, to the Suns Ishbia would also be purchasing the Phoenix Mercury. If the deal goes through, it would end the tenure of current owner Robert Sarver.
This move comes months after Sarver was practically forced to sell the team after a league investigation into alleged workplace misconduct found that he made racist and sexist remarks. While he initially denied those claims, the apology he gave, and the subsequent selling of the team, indicates that there may have been some truth to the allegations.
While the initial punishment was only set to be a one year suspension with a $10 million dollar fine, there were some saying that the suspension wasn’t enough. That led to Suns’ chairman Jahm Najafi making the suspension permanent.
There has been some immediate interest as the Suns became a very desirable destination for anyone looking to purchase an NBA team. Phoenix is a team with a great young core, fresh off a Finals appearance two seasons ago. It has also recently become a more desirable free agent location and appears to be a great investment.
Jeff Bezos has been reported to have an interest in buying an NBA team, one of those franchises included the Suns. However, it appears he has shifted his focus to the Commanders.
So, who is Ishbia?
It appears that the bidding war may be over with Mat Ishbia set to complete the purchase of the Suns. Ishbia, who was a walk-on basketball player at Michigan State, has been looking to purchase a sporting franchise for quite some time now. He will get his opportunity and can hopefully bring some success to the city of Phoenix.
“I’m extremely excited about becoming the next Governor of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, pending final league approval,” Ishbia stated. “Owning a sports franchise has been a lifelong dream of mine and I am honored to be able to fulfill that dream.“
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the purchase price for the two teams is around $4 Billion. According to Forbes, Ishbia’s real-time net worth is $5.1 billion.
As for now, Suns fans can take a sigh of relief that the Sarver era will be coming to an end. There have been a lot of distractions and scandals amongst the players and staff in his tenure as the Governor. With a new owner in sight, the Suns can get back to winning basketball games.
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