PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ James Jones: Owner Robert Sarver doesn’t meddle in decisions

May 3, 2018, 1:39 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm
(AP photos)...
(AP photos)
(AP photos)
LISTEN: James Jones, Phoenix Suns VP of Basketball Operations

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has carved out quite the reputation for himself in the Valley since he bought the Suns for $401 million in 2004.

From accusations of being cheap to a #SarverOut billboard going up late last year, Sarver has a testy relationship with a passionate fanbase that knows he is heavily involved in the Suns’ front office processes.

That extends to some assumptions about the team’s moves, whether it’s signing players in free agency, the Suns’ activity on the trade market or hiring a new coach.

Vice president of basketball operations James Jones has been in his position since July of last year and from his 15-year career in the NBA, he knows Sarver’s owner approach is different from most.

“A lot of the newer owners aren’t as involved,” Jones said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta. “A lot of them are not, I won’t say absentee, but this is their secondary business.”

Sarver is different, though.

“Robert has always viewed the Suns as his primary business,” Jones said. “This is his love interest.

“It’s uncommon for a lot of owners to be there day in and day out like Robert is.”

Jones sees that as a positive and denies any overwhelming influence in important decisions coming from Sarver.

“Robert is invested in the team and like all great owners he’s deeply interested in what happens on a day-to-day basis but at no point is Robert a dictator or does he meddle in decisions,” Jones said. “It’s really a collective group that makes decisions.

“His passion a lot of times is taken for control, but really it’s just a level of investment. He’s been amazing.”

Jones knows the players don’t mind having Sarver around in the slightest.

“They love it,” he said. “They love the attention, they love the investment because ultimately you play for the city, you play for the franchise.”

As for Jones’ role, with his first season in the books and first round of offseason preparation well underway, he figures to play a much bigger role in what moves the team makes.

With that comes the question of what the Suns will look for in terms of offseason acquisitions.

“We want the types of guys that can actually play in NBA games today and provide value and leadership and by example,” Jones said. “You’ll see us make moves and be strategic to bring in the right guys, but we won’t bring in names for the sake of bringing in names.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Follow @AZSports...
Haboob Blog

Mikal Bridges sees Phoenix sports fandom, even thanks to ‘little Red Sea’

"I'm a Rams fan so I see everybody killing me about the Cardinals. They're diehard for their little Red Sea," Suns wing Mikal Bridges said.
13 hours ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns talks with Mikal Bridges #25 and Deandre Ayton #22 during the f...
Kellan Olson

Young Suns roster set to see big returns from NBA Finals experience

The Phoenix Suns spoke on what they learned from their NBA Finals run that will help them this season.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams, second from left, hugs Chris Paul, left, and Jae Crowder, s...
Kellan Olson

Suns face another quick turnaround as NBA resets back to default calendar

The Phoenix Suns making the NBA Finals last year was a huge accomplishment. It also has them facing the shortest turnaround for this season.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns, Torrey Craig #12, and Mikal Bridges #25 celebrate defeating ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges still up for extensions as camp begins

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. earned the fourth max rookie extension for players in the 2018 NBA Draft class.
2 days ago
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns guard Camero...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns found different ways to move on from NBA Finals loss

Monty Williams and Suns players all took different approaches to accepting, reflecting and moving on from the NBA Finals loss.
2 days ago
Chasson Randle #25 of the Orlando Magic dribbles in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Amw...
Wills Rice

Phoenix Suns sign former Magic guard Chasson Randle

Less than a week after being invited to training camp, the Phoenix Suns signed 28-year-old guard Chasson Randle to the official roster.
3 days ago
Suns’ James Jones: Owner Robert Sarver doesn’t meddle in decisions