Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver wasn’t quite issuing a mea culpa when he spoke with Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Thursday, but he did admit the organization owes the fans more than what they’ve produced of late.
When asked if the Suns have lost touch with their history and place in the NBA hierachy, Sarver answered rather honestly.
“I think we have a little bit and a lot of that is through poor communication,” Sarver said. “We respect the history of this franchise in a number of ways, in terms of how we deal with our fans, in terms of what we do with Phoenix Suns charities, in terms of all the former Suns players that work in the organization and all sorts of things.
“I think though from a communication standpoint we slipped, and I think we can do better.”
Sarver said he hopes the hiring of general manager Ryan McDonough, who worked 10 years with Boston Celtics, helps the organization refocus its attention on its history, tradition and place in the local community.
“One of the great things about Ryan’s experience with Boston is that culture and history,” said Sarver. “When players go play there, they aren’t just playing for themselves or the team, they’re playing for those banners.
“Now, we don’t have any banners, but we have to come up with a way to make sure our players know they are playing for more than this season and this team.”
With McDonough now at the helm, Sarver also added that he plans to let the 33-year-old general manager do his job.
First up of course on McDonough’s on-going list of tasks is finding a new head coach — a process the owner plans to stay out of at this point.
“The (coaching search) is his call,” said Sarver. “The important thing as part of the interview process is that everyone gets on the same page on what you’re looking for, on the characteristics of what you’re looking for, on what your objectives are and what you want to accomplish.
“Now it’s up to him to find that person he has confidence in that fits those characteristics and that he can work with closely.”
Even before the organization selects its next head coach, the hiring of McDonough has generated a buzz around the Valley that wasn’t seen or felt at any point during the 2012-13 season. But just as the new Suns GM cautioned during his introductory press conference, Sarver made sure to preach continued patience with the process.
“This is just a step,” Sarver said of McDonough’s hiring. “We have a lot of work to do and a lot of results need to be shown to get us back to where we want to be in the next few years.”