Suspended team owner decides to sell NBA’s Suns, WNBA’s Mercury

AP file photo by Matt York / Robert Sarver, who has owned the NBA's Suns and the WNBA's Mercury since 2004, announced Wednesday he will sell both of the Phoenix franchises. His announcement came a week after he was suspended for a year and fined $10 million by the NBA for workplace misconduct.

Robert Sarver said he has started the process of selling the NBA's Phoenix Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, a move that came barely a week after he was suspended by the NBA for workplace misconduct that included racist speech and hostile behavior toward employees.

The decision was quickly applauded by many, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the National Basketball Players Association and even Sarver's partners in the ownership group that operates the two teams.

Sarver made the announcement Wednesday, saying selling "is the best course of action," although he initially hoped he would be able to keep control of the franchises — pointing to his record that, he claims, paints a dramatically different picture of who he is and what he stands for.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible — that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past," Sarver wrote in a released statement.