After Baxter Holmes of ESPN published a report accusing Suns owner Robert Sarver of racist and misogynistic conduct, three former team employees received messages from Sarver’s wife, Penny Sarver, Holmes writes in a new ESPN story. She called one former Suns employee “a liar,” said another was “crushing my families’ lives,” and accused a third of being “very bitter,” as Holmes relays.
“Please put your hatred aside and realize the hurt you are causing by spreading lies and fabrications,” she wrote to the third former employee. “Is your time in the spotlight that important? If something happens to one of my children, I will hold you and (former Suns head coach) Earl Watson personally responsible. Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned.”
Reached for comment, Penny Sarver said she wanted to “set the record straight and to share how disappointed and hurt I am by the lies that are circulating about my husband and the Suns organization.” However, one of the former employees contacted by Sarver told Holmes it was hard to interpret the message as anything “other than as a threat.”
Meanwhile, Alex Prewitt and Jon Wertheim of SI.com have obtained video of Robert Sarver telling sexually explicit jokes and anecdotes during a posthumous “roast” of former Suns minority owner Dick Heckmann, who passed away in October 2020. While explicit material is expected at such an event, some of Sarver’s comments may have crossed a line and are consistent with complaints from many of Holmes’ sources about the Suns owner’s penchant for inappropriate workplace humor.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- In an appearance on ESPN (video link), Brian Windhorst said that LeBron James‘ abdominal strain is “not a severe injury” and won’t keep him out for an extended period. The Lakers star has been out since last Tuesday and the team hasn’t provided a timeline for his recovery or return.
- Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores whether the Lakers made a mistake not re-signing Alex Caruso and what the cost of doing so would’ve been after accounting for tax penalties. While matching the Bulls’ four-year, $37MM deal for Caruso would’ve helped shore up L.A.’s backcourt defense and given the team a very movable contract, Pincus estimates that the Lakers’ overall 2021/22 payroll (salary and taxes) would’ve increased by about $33MM with that deal on the books.
- Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said this week that No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Kuminga, who hasn’t seen much NBA action so far, will have to be patient and will benefit from getting G League reps with Santa Cruz. “He had a lot of guys who were drafted right before or right after who are all playing a lot,” Kerr said, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “So it’s not easy for him, but he understands he’s on a very good team and he’s got to pay his dues and learn from the guys and there’s a lot to be said for that route in terms of development. I think he understands that and he’s working really hard.”