Basketball: Phoenix Suns owner Sarver picks Moelis for team sale

An NBA investigation found that Robert Sarver used racist slurs and harassed female employees. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - Robert Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury basketball teams, is working with advisory firm Moelis & Company on the potential sale of the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association franchises, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

Sarver's decision to pick a financial adviser for the potential transaction follows an NBA investigation that found he used racist slurs and harassed female employees.

The league suspended him for a year and fined him US$10 million (S$14.3 million), a sanction that was criticised by NBA superstars, including LeBron James and former National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul for being too lenient.

A representative for Moelis declined to comment, while a representative for the Suns couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Moelis' role was reported earlier by Sportico.

Sarver said in a statement on Sept 21 that he was looking for buyers, and that he had planned to make amends during his suspension, but that "the current unforgiving climate" made that impossible. BLOOMBERG

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