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Sarver stays mum on lockout as Suns introduce new President

Oct 10, 2011, 10:04 PM EDT

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The Phoenix Suns held a press conference on Monday to introduce a new President, Brad Casper, who will lead business and non-basketball operations, as well as a new Chief Operating Officer, Jason Rowley. The media turnout for the event was larger than usual for something that technically isn’t basketball-related, likely due to the fact that the team’s owner, Robert Sarver, would be there to make the introductions.

Sarver has been one of the owners blamed for holding up the labor negotiations on the league’s end, thanks to his reported insistence that the NBA system must undergo fundamental change if the long-term value of his franchise is to increase. So, now that the lockout has reached the stage where regular season games are being cancelled — and after a few polite questions were asked of the team’s new president — Sarver was asked point blank if he could clarify or explain his position on the lockout.

Unfortunately, he could not.

“I can’t comment specifically, really, about anything to do with the lockout at this point,” Sarver answered. “I’m kind of prohibited from doing that. But I can say that eventually, when it’s over, the facts of my role and my involvement will come out, and I look forward to that happening.”

OK, then. How about a message to fans, in general?

“I’m just prohibited from commenting about it,” Sarver said. “But as you know, don’t believe everything you read.”

That last statement was likely pointed at a particularly odd comment that was reported by Yahoo! Sports to have been made by Sarver, in which he allegedly stated that “his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag.”

It will indeed be interesting once the lockout is over to hear Sarver speak freely about exactly where he stood during it all, and how much influence he had over the ownership group’s position at the bargaining table. In the meantime, the Suns are proceeding with business as usual, and doing so with a new President and Chief Operating Officer.

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