The Daily Panic - T minus 2 days to Armageddon (A Defense of Sarver)

You guys and gals are probably getting sick of me attempting to pour cold water on your frothing-at-the-mouth ranting over Sarver.

But what the hell, let's do it some more.  We need a new thread for today anyway.

"Sarver wants to be Jerry Jones"

This basically says that Robert Sarver wants to be his own GM.  That's bullshit.  It's not even likely.  Sarver doesn't have time, and given his history in business he's not stupid enough to do this.

Oh, he wants to lead this initial foray into free agency.  That part's obvious.  He's got a limit to which he will go with Amare, and probably Channing and Lou too.  He doesn't want to grossly overpay.  Is Amare really worth a 6 yr/130 mil contract?  No.  Is Frye really worth mid-level or higher?  No.  Is Lou really worth any more than a couple mil a year?  No.  So why are we lambasting Sarver for putting those limits on his negotiations?

My guess: he hires a very good GM (Lindsey, Warkentein, Penn) after all the smoke has cleared from the Amare implosion.  Why saddle a new GM with that black mark from day 1?  He already killed Kerr's rep that first summer on the job by asking him to dump Kurt Thomas for nothing.  At least this time Sarver is doing his own wet work.


"Sarver is the next Donald Sterling"

This is ridiculous.  The Clippers have made the playoffs ONCE with Sterling as owner in the past 20 years.  Once.

By contrast, the Suns have made the playoffs every year but 2009 and been to 3 WCFs.  And its not like Sarver rode the coattails of the Colangelos to some of those wins.  The year before Sarver bought the team?  29-53 record.


"Sarver is a cheap SOB"

This one's true in both cases.  He's cheap AND he's an SOB.  Let's take them one at a time.

Cheap: Anyone who begrudges the current GM a raise for himself and his staff after exceeding expectations partially brought on by the budget-minded mentality of prior years IS cheap.  But cheap does not mean "loser".  The Spurs have been frugal for a decade and won mutliple championships.  Dolan and Cuban have spent every penny they're allowed to spend, and won nothing.

SOB: He's pissed off a lot of people.  Never before have I seen GMs leave at their highest point, and now it's 2 in a row.  Really, when was the last time you saw a GM quit after shaping his team into a deep playoff run?  Sarver clearly has a "familiarity breeds contempt" air about him.  He doesn't like complacency, doesn't trust anyone, and doesn't like ANYONE to try to weild negotiating power over him.  So as soon as they ask for a raise, he goes and looks for someone else.

But let's look at that a bit.  At least he brings in good replacements.  Jerry Jones never replaced his GM, but Sarver already did it in 2007 and now is doing it again in 2010.  And the replacements are pretty good ones.   And say what you will about roster turnover, but the Suns are still winning games.  The 2010 team was my favorite one ever.


"Sarver is running this team into the ground"

In 6 yrs as owner (with the team coming off 29-53 record):

  • average 54-28 records across 6 seasons (including 2010)
  • 5 playoff appearances (including 2010
  • 7 playoff series wins (2 of those in 2010)
  • 3 Western Conference Finals appearances (including 2010)

You can give all that credit to the rotating GMs or coaches, but you have to admit that is short-sighted.  The constant here is Sarver.  In the last 5 of those 6 years, the Suns have been in the top-10 in salaries.

So while we are expecting the roof to cave in, remember that we also expected that last year and the year before.

Ok, you can start blasting me now...

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