Updated Feb 13, 2014 - 9:26 am
Jerry Colangelo: Robert Sarver is a good owner
Jerry Colangelo helped build the Suns into the city's main professional sports team, and was the owner until 2004, when he sold to a group led by Sarver.
Colangelo stayed on with the team until 2007, but since then it has been Sarver's show, with mixed results.
However, when asked if the man who replaced him is a good owner, the "Godfather of Phoenix Sports" did not hesitate.
"I think he is, I think he is," Colangelo told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM as part of Newsmakers Week Wednesday. "I think he's also matured as a sports entrepreneur. It's the kind of business that people from the outside looking in think is an easy transition, but it helps if you have a real background and if you don't, you have to pay your dues, you have to learn by experience, and sometimes you have to make mistakes. And you learn from those mistakes.
Depending on who you ask, the number of mistakes Sarver may have made will vary, but even he has admitted that there are things he could have done better over the last decade.
"I would say to you that Robert was handed a full deck in terms of really a good team, good management, coaching, and we had a good run for a while, if you recall," Colangelo said. "But then things started to dissipate a little bit and when you're not stable, when you have a lot of turnover in terms of management, coaching, players, it's unstable and it's tough to really get any traction.
"So I think Robert went through a lot, and I think he learned a lot. I've heard from a number of people that I trust very much that he's a different guy today than he was when he bought the team, and it's all positive, all positive. And I commend what he's done."
It should come as no surprise that Sarver could be a different owner -- a better owner -- now than he was when he first took over. No matter the job, people tend to improve as they gain more experience. They learn what works and what doesn't, and adjust their style accordingly.
As an owner, Sarver was tasked with hiring the right people to work with him in building the franchise, and it may have taken some time to learn what qualities to look for. After all, running a basketball team is nothing like running any other business, though Sarver had proven to be successful elsewhere.
And as Colangelo said, people on both a national and local level have commented on Sarver's turnaround.
"So he deserves to get credit when credit is due," he said. "When you make mistakes you take the hits, but when you're successful you should also be gracious in saying the right things about a person.
"I think he has a great group in place."
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
Schedule for the week
Dave Tippett and Lon Babby are in-studio on Tuesday for Newsmakers Week.
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Friday and the full week
- Greg Byrne: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part two
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part one
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Thursday
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Wednesday
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Tuesday
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Monday
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Bryan Sperber, PIR President - Friday February 14PIR president Bryan Sperber closes out Newsmakers Week with Doug and Wolf.
- Greg Byrne, UA Athletic Director - Friday February 14Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne sits in on Newsmakers Week.
- Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals GM - Friday February 14Cardinals GM Steve Keim joins Newsmakers Week.
- Kevin Guy, Arizona Rattlers Head Coach - Thursday February 13What should the NFL implement from arena football?
- Herb Sendek, Head Coach ASU Basketball - Thursday February 13Can ASU make the tournament in March?
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday February 13When does Derrick Hall think things will heat up with the Dodgers?
- Brian Mueller, GCU President - Thursday February 13Brian Mueller explains what attracts athletes to GCU.
- Jim Pitman, Mercury General Manager - Thursday February 13How do things look on the business side of the Mercury organization?
- Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director - Wednesday February 12Ray Anderson explains why he took the job at ASU.
- Jason Rowley, Suns President - Wednesday February 12Where are the Suns trending financially?
- Jerry Colangelo, Godfather of Phoenix Sports - Wednesday February 12Jerry Colangelo comes in studio for an entire hour!
- Dan Majerle, Head Coach GCU Basketball - Wednesday February 12Dan Majerle explains the recruiting process.
- David Rousseau, AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman - Tuesday February 11Find out how Glendale is preparing right now to host next year's Super Bowl.
- Lon Babby, Suns President of Operations - Tuesday February 11Eric Bledsoe's future with the team and the relationship between the Suns and Dan Majerle.
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Tuesday February 11Dave spends his Olympic break with us in studio to discuss the playoff race his team is in.
- Tim Esmay, ASU baseball coach - Tuesday February 11Tim describes the competitive nature in recruiting high school athletes.
- Tom King, 2014 Waste Managment Phoenix Open Chairman - Tuesday February 11Tom explains how the Phoenix Open continues to be a huge success year after year.
- Charli Turner Thorne, ASU Women's basketball head coach - Monday February 10How is the women's basketball program at ASU doing?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Monday February 10The D-backs made moves on the mound
- Jeff Hornacek, Suns Head Coach - Monday February 10Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek joins Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week.
- Keith Baker, GCU Athletic Director - Monday February 10How long until GCU can make the NCAA tournament?
- George Gosbee Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner - Monday February 10Live update from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week
D&W talk to all the top decision makers in Arizona sports.