Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, who announced his intent to sell his team after an investigation concluded he’d used the n-word, amongst other awful behavior, has now finally found a suitor … former Michigan State basketball player and billionaire businessman, Mat Ishbia.
The news comes via a report from Adrian Wojnarowski … who tweeted Tuesday morning that the sides are putting the finishing touches on a deal.
“Billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia is finalizing a purchase of the Phoenix Suns,” Woj wrote, adding, “The deal, expected to be completed in the near future, would end the tumultuous tenure of owner Robert Sarver.”
Ishbia is a former college basketball player … he played 3 seasons under Tom Izzo at MSU. Although he didn’t play much (2.4 minutes per game), Mat won a National Championship in 2000.
After college, Ishbia made a fortune in the lending business … he owns a majority stake in United Wholesale Mortgage, a company founded by his dad in the mid-80s.
Ishbia is worth $5.1 billion, according to Forbes — making him the 501st richest person in the world.
As we previously reported, Sarver was suspended for 1 year and fined $10 million by the NBA after an extensive investigation, spanning 320 interviews with current and former employees, found the Suns and Mercury owner used the n-word at least 5 times. FWIW, the league said his use of the word wasn’t motivated by hate or prejudice, but instead, he was “recounting the statements of others.”
The investigation also concluded Sarver didn’t treat male and female employees equally. In addition, they found RS engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.
NBA commish Adam Silver, as well as players like LeBron James (and many more around the league), came out against Sarver … and he finally announced his intent to sell the team.
“I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world,” Sarver, who bought the team in 2004, said when announcing he was going to sell back in September.
“I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, then fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.”
Now it appears he’s found his buyer.
The Suns, Sarver, nor the NBA have addressed the reported upcoming sale.
Story developing …
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