Suns owner says team won't move to Las Vegas or Seattle: 'The Phoenix Suns aren't leaving Phoenix'

Ever since the Seattle SuperSonics left the Pacific Northwest to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, there have been rumors about when Seattle would get an NBA team again. 

However, it appears that it won't be the Phoenix Suns that will be making a move. In a video that was posted to the Phoenix Suns official Twitter account, owner Robert Sarver made it clear that the team won't be moving out of Phoenix and that he wants to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena.

"First and foremost, the Phoenix Suns aren't leaving Phoenix," Sarver stated. "I'm 100 percent committed and have been for the last four years, to find a solution to keep them in downtown Phoenix where they belong. I'm a strong proponent, as evidenced by the term sheet that I signed last week, that we should renovate the Talking Stick Resort Arena and once again restore it to a world class facility. In addition, it is important for the Phoenix Suns to build a first-class practice facility, so the players of the Suns and  the Phoenix Mercury can continue to develop. I am 100 percent all-in in keeping this team right here where we stand and I want to make sure that message comes across crystal clear to every one of you."

Of course, just because Sarver says this doesn't mean that he didn't make the reported threat to move the team. The statement comes after Laurie Roberts reported on Wednesday that Sarver was threatening to move the Suns to Seattle or Las Vegas if the Phoenix city council doesn't approve a $150M renovation to the Suns' arena. Which, as of now, it appears they will not do. Via the Arizona Republic: 

Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and Councilwomen Laura Pastor and Debra Stark have asked for a postponement of this afternoon's City Council vote on whether to spend $150 million upgrading the Suns arena. This, because the deal will go down in defeat if it's put to a vote.

Whether they get a continuance or not could mark the beginning of a showdown between the city and Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is telling some council members that he will take the team to Seattle or Las Vegas.

There is a lot of local Phoenix politics in Roberts' report, but a few key factors jump out on why the city council is at this time unwilling to pass the proposal. 

Given that people:

A.   Aren't informed and haven't been heard, because that the arena deal is a rush job, announced not even six days ago ...

B.   Haven't been given the opportunity to understand the economic impact of the arena, because there have been no public hearings on this major project ...

And C.   Have no clue what renovations are truly needed, because the city has released not even so much as a scrap a paper outlining how the $150 million would be spent

At this point, this seems like a mostly empty threat by Sarver in order to push through renovations on his team's arena. Sarver is a Tucson, Arizona native, and went to the University of Arizona -- neither of which would prohibit him from moving the Suns out of Phoenix, but do make it a bit more unlikely. 

While the vote may ultimately be postponed, the Suns' regular season schedule will move forward this week as they are set to host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in a nationally televised showdown on TNT (10:30 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with the NBA  League Pass extension).

Plus, there are all sorts of hoops to jump through before a team moving cities even comes close to being a possibility. So, is it a good sign for the Suns that Sarver has reportedly started making this threat? No, obviously not. All eventual relocations start with something seemingly minor like this. But as of now, there is certainly nothing imminent, and it's still way too early for Seattle or Las Vegas to start getting their hopes up. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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