With the Phoenix Suns struggling (to say the least) on the court and in the news for less-than-ideal reasons off the court, it's easy to understand why Suns fans are fed up with team owner Robert Sarver.
The University of Arizona alum and real-estate investor bought the Suns in 2004, and they went on to have success during the ensuing Steve Nash era. But the team has failed to make the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons and is an NBA-worst 5-24 this season, despite having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Sarver has also responded to reports that he is difficult to work for.
On Thursday, Sarver posted a video message on the Suns' social-media platforms insisting the team is not leaving downtown Phoenix, even though a proposed $230 million renovation project to Talking Stick Resort Arena has been postponed.
On Friday, Arizona Cardinals star and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald vouched for Sarver's integrity.
“He’s drastically misunderstood. I love Mr. Sarver,” Fitzgerald said during Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I spent a lot of time with him. I can’t think of anybody who I trust more than him.
"He’s one of those guys, he’ll look you in your eye, he’ll shake your hand. He would go out of his way to help anybody he knows."
Fitzgerald, who attended a UA basketball game with Sarver in Tucson last season, said he hopes the Phoenix City Council ultimately approves the Suns' renovation project, after the council postponed Wednesday's scheduled vote on the project.
“You don’t think of Phoenix without the Phoenix Suns," he said. "The Suns took a chance on Phoenix in the 70s coming here with Connie Hawkins and Jerry Colangelo.
"They took a chance on us, and I think it’s time we take a chance on the Phoenix Suns. They’re loyal to this community. I really believe this is a Suns town. People love the Suns. They were the first ones here.”