The NBA Took it Easy on Robert Sarver with Suspension

Photo is courtesy of USA Today

The NBA is an extremely well-known brand. It’s one of the most well-known brands in the world, and the league takes its reputation very seriously, for good reason. However, there’s been more than a couple scandals in recent memory, and it seems the league will continually be desperate to keep that reputation as shiny as possible. That is the case with Robert Sarver and his suspension.

Robert Sarver’s Career

Robert Sarver is the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. He’s also the owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. Sarver graduated from the University of Arizona, and purchased both teams in 2004.

Sarver has overseen many monumental events in the Suns’ history. He’s overseen the recent, rapid improvement of the team that grabbed the 1st seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 2004, and for just the fourth time in the franchise’s 54-year history. Behind the scenes, in a scandal that was only brought to light recently, NBA fans learned about the dark secrets floating around the Suns front office.

Robert Sarver’s Actions and the Dark Reality of Suns’ Front Office

Robert has just received punishment for his actions after a long investigation was opened by the NBA into the workplace environment in Phoenix. Here are some findings:

Sarver, on five separate occasions, repeated the N-word when recounting statements of others. Sarver also “engaged in instances of inequitable conduct towards female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearence of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.”

To add to this already extensive list, Sarver engaged in “demeaning and harsh treatment of employees.” This included yelling and cursing at them. These quotes have been pulled from the NBA’s statement regarding the punishment.

For those actions, Sarver has been suspended from both organizations for a year. He’s not allowed to be present at any events related to either team, and must stay away from the organizations entirely for a year. He was also fined $10 million.

How the NBA Failed With the Robert Sarver Punishment and Suspension

To put is bluntly, Robert Sarver received a slap on the wrist for actions that should have warranted a lifelong suspension.

The NBA has seen a situation like this before. In 2014, then-Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape disparaging his mistress for associating herself with African Americans. Sterling also made many more racist remarks, and was under investigation for a sexual harassment lawsuit, as well.

These issues received national backlash, and soon after the NBA decided to take a league vote, deciding whether Sterling should be forced to sell the team. The vote easily passed, and Sterling’s ownership of the team was removed.

Adam Silver released that news, and understandably the NBA was praised for laying down the hammer on a man who fully deserved it. Then, Robert Sarver was found to have done essentially the same exact things, yet received an extremely small punishment. Now, Silver and the NBA’s decision looks hollow, especially in light of Silver claiming the situations are “dramatically different“.

The truth is, Robert Sarver and Donald Sterling are the worst type of people. Both old, rich men who have proven themselves to be racist and sexist individuals. As is commonplace in our society, many men like that have been rich enough to get away with their actions.

The NBA seemed to set a precedent with their handling of Sterling. They completely reversed it with their shallow punishment of Sarver.

The NBA dropped the ball here. In no way should Robert Sarver have anything to do with the NBA ever again. However, the NBA’s light punishment shows how superficial they took these actions from Sarver. It’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

Luka Doncic is on a different level

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar point guard, is putting the NBA on notice for anyone who questions his game. If there were any doubts about his determination to lead his team to victory, they were put to rest after Sunday’s performance. Now, he faces his toughest challenge of his career against the Golden State Warriors. But he’s shown time and time again that he’s not afraid.

He dominated a 60 win team

When he faced the top-seeded Phoenix Suns, the odds were plainly stacked against him. No one anticipated his team to win this series. Throughout the series, even in games where he lost, he averaged an incredible 32 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks. Whoever the Suns chose to try and defend him was added to Luka’s highlight reel for the night.

If there was a game where it was clearly evident that Luka is simply on a different level it was games six and seven. After being chastised by opponent Devin Booker for employing drama to get foul calls, dubbed the “Luka Special,” he summoned his inner Michael Jordan and took it personally.

In game six, he exploded for 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals. He came up when it counted and forced a win-or-go-home game seven, and to say he rose to the occasion is an understatement. Luka was out for blood in that game, scoring the same number of points individually as Phoenix did as a team by halftime. He not only humbled the Suns, but he humiliated them on their own home court, defeating them by 33 points.

On Sunday, he served his own Luka Special in Pheonix, and everyone received it. The series cemented his status as a league star, despite the fact that he is only 23 years old.

Now on to the Warriors

Luka will face some pretty tough competition in a veteran Warriors team. Nobody on the opposing side of the court has a chance of containing him. He’s a scoring machine with a variety of moves in his arsenal, whether it’s in the low post or on the top of the key.

Simply put, Luka gives you everything you wish to see out of your young, talented players. During this series, the Warriors will almost certainly try to throw Klay Thompson or perhaps Draymond Green on him. While both are excellent defenders, they will have a difficult time stopping him.

The last time Luka faced this exact Warrior squad this season, he finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. After defeating the Jazz and the Suns, there’s little doubt Luka isn’t afraid of the spotlight.