(Basketball news) Billionaire Mat Ishbia is on the verge of buying Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury from Robert Sarver, who is selling after being suspended for racist and sexist behaviour. The deal will set a new record for the purchase of an NBA team and will value the franchises at $4bn (£3.3bn). Ishbia’s investment will surpass Joe Tsai’s deal for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center in 2019, valued at $3.3 billion.
Ishbia has previously played college basketball at Michigan State and was a fringe player during NCAA’s Championship win under long-serving coach Tom Izzo in 2000. In November this year, Ishbia said that he was considering a bid to buy American football’s Washington Commanders after he couldn’t purchase NFL side the Denver Broncos in August.
Current Phoenix owner Sarver was suspended for a year and fined $10 million in September due to claims of racism and misogyny. He announced his intention to sell the team shortly after, saying it was “the best course of action for everyone”.
“Both teams have an incredibly dynamic fanbase. I have loved experiencing the energy of the Valley. Basketball is at the core of my life, from my high school days as a player to the honour of playing for Coach Izzo and winning a national title at Michigan State University.”Mat Ishbia
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