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An NBA Insider who doesn’t bash Robert Sarver?

Day 112 of the NBA lockout began with some optimism.

It ended on Thursday night with none.

Talks between the players and owners broke down, public
accusations flew from both sides, and no further talks
were scheduled following three straight marathon
bargaining sessions in New York.

One of the more prevalent themes of this work stoppage has
been the media reports pinpointing Suns owner Robert
Sarver as being the hardest of the hardliners; the most
difficult owner to deal with during this process.

ESPN NBA insider Ric Bucher joined Doug and Wolf on
Arizona Sports 620 on Thursday and took the opposite
viewpoint from what we’ve heard for months.

He defended Robert Sarver. Sort of.

Franz asked Bucher what he had heard about Sarver’s
influence during the lockout negotiations.

“If nothing else, he has a firm belief in how he thinks
things should be done,” Bucher said. “Right or wrong, for
all the same reasons that I admire Mark Cuban, has he done
all the right thing? No. But he’s been very aggressive
forceful in taking his stand and giving his position, and
I will always respect that.”

Bucher did admit that the range of thoughts on Sarver are
a matter of perception.

“You can say that Sarver is saving the smaller markets, or
allowing the smaller markets to compete with the Lakers
and the Knicks,” Bucher said. “Or you can say he’s doing
this just to lower the overall cost of running a