The Suns have "vowed to look elsewhere in the Valley for a place to play if the city of Phoenix doesn’t agree to upgrade Talking Stick Resort Arena," according to by Laurie Roberts of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley said that the team "would consider moving out of state only as a last resort and hasn’t gone looking elsewhere." Rowley "flatly denied that anyone in the Suns organization has threatened city officials with leaving" if the $230M arena upgrade "isn’t approved." Meanwhile, one Phoenix City Council member "backed away from his earlier comment" that Suns Owner Robert Sarver told him he would "go to Seattle or Las Vegas if the arena deal isn’t approved." Meanwhile, Sarver on Thursday in a Twitter video said, “The Phoenix Suns are not leaving Phoenix. I am 100 percent committed and have been for [the last] four years to find a solution to keep them in downtown Phoenix where they belong.” But Roberts notes the "problem" is the city council is "not even 50 percent committed to the deal" that calls for the public to put in $150M (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/14).
REALLY LOOKING ELSEWHERE? ESPN's Stan Van Gundy said, "The question isn’t are Seattle and Las Vegas realistic options for the Suns, the question is when is Robert Sarver going to bring an NBA team to Phoenix." ESPN's Amin Elhassan said the Suns are the team that "made Phoenix from a dusty outpost in the Old West to a major American city" (“The Jump,” ESPN, 12/13)
ONE COMMON THEME: SI.com's Andrew Sharp wrote there are a "dozen different things to say about the dysfunction that defines" both the Suns and Bulls. Each team is a "testament to the power of terrible ownership." Bad owners "can ruin a team in so many different ways." Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf and his son, President & COO Michael Reinsdorf, "continue to empower" GM Gar Forman and Exec VP/Basketball Operations John Paxson, and it is "almost like the results don't matter." Meanwhile, Sarver's management of the Suns has been "infamous for years, and the results have only gotten worse in recent seasons." The team is on its third coach in three years, fired GM Ryan McDonough in September and there is "no clear path to building any kind of sustainable success" (SI.com, 12/11). SI.com's Michael Rosenberg writes under the header, "The Suns Need a Better Owner -- Not a Better Arena." Phoenix loves the Suns but can’t stand" Sarver. He has "turned the Suns from one of the league’s premier franchises into arguably its worst" (SI.com, 12/14).