Ever since losing the 2021 NBA championship to the Milwaukee Bucks despite holding a 2-0 series lead, the Phoenix Suns have had to deal with lots of adversity.
Last season, they won a league-high 64 games and took a 2-0 series lead over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals, only to allow them to force a seventh game where they rolled the Suns in Phoenix, 123-90.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Mat Ishbia, the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, would be purchasing both the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for an eye-popping $4 billion.
Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, is finalizing a purchase for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury for around $4B, per @wojespn
Ishbia was on the 2000 NCAA title-winning Michigan State men's basketball team pic.twitter.com/egzCCLIPDi
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2022
Around the NBA, fans and observers are very happy not only for Ishbia but also for the Suns as a whole.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who, like Ishbia attended Michigan State University, feels the Suns’ new owner is fit for his new role.
I had a great call with fellow Spartan Mat Ishbia congratulating him on his purchase of the Phoenix Suns. He’s going to do great things not only for the Suns organization, but for the entire league. All of the other 29 NBA teams better watch out because Mat’s a winner!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 20, 2022
One Twitter influencer wonders what the Suns’ $4 billion price tag means for other NBA teams, particularly the Chicago Bulls, who play in the nation’s third-largest market and, unlike the Suns, have six world championships to their name.
$4 billion USD it cost to purchase the Phoenix Suns. The new going rate for NBA franchises.
Bulls are a premier franchise. If Reinsdorf sold today seeking max offer, I'd bet he'd get $8+ billion for the Bulls.
There has never been a better time to sell the Bulls Reinsdorf!
— Chicago Bulls Talk (@BullsSource) December 20, 2022
This man praised Ishbia’s underdog path to where he is today as a billionaire CEO and a soon-to-be NBA franchise owner.
Mat Ishbia embodies everything great about being a Spartan. His journey began as the last guy on the basketball roster as a walk on, where he learned the value of earning your keep. His purchase of the Phoenix Suns is the result of decades of hard work and commitment #SD4L
— MSU Chief of Propaganda (@OdellBretthamJr) December 20, 2022
This fan pointed out the growing number of Michiganders who are now owners of NBA teams.
By my count, a Mat Ishbia purchase of the Phoenix Suns would give the NBA three Michigan State alum owners (Tom Gores, Pistons; Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers), and five state-of-Michigan owners (Steve Ballmer, Clippers; Dan DeVos, Magic).
— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) December 20, 2022
The hope is that the Suns see some improved results on the court now that an alleged racist and misogynist is exiting the organization.
Will The Suns Return To Their Winning Ways?
Although Phoenix is in fourth place in the Western Conference with a decent 19-13 record, it has lost seven of its last 11 games, including a 113-110 loss on Tuesday to the mediocre Washington Wizards.
With no clear-cut top dog in the West, now is the time for the Suns to get hot and establish themselves as perhaps the team to beat.