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Record in the NBA: Phoenix Suns sold for $4 billion

"I am extremely excited to be the next owner of Phoenix Suns and Mercury," said new owner Mat Ishbia. With the sale, rumors that Barack Obama would purchase the team have been put to rest.

Phoenix Suns


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The chairman and CEO of mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage, Mat Ishbia, agreed to purchase a majority share of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury for $4 billion. This is the most expensive team sale in the history of the NBA. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story on Twitter:

Wojnarowski confirmed that the Suns' prospective owner has been after acquiring a franchise for some time and is a well-respected man within the NBA, although he will have to undergo a background check and approval from the league's ownership board, league sources told ESPN. After deal was first reported, Ishbia expressed his excitement about joining the NBA and WNBA ownership fraternity:

I am extremely excited to be the next Governor of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. Both teams have an incredibly dynamic fan base and I have loved experiencing the energy of the Valley over the last few months.

The Suns have been for sale since September, and the sale is expected to close in mid-2023. Sarver has owned the team for nearly 19 years. He led an investment group that acquired the franchise for $401 million in 2004.

A franchise with 55 years of history, the Phoenix Suns will begin a new chapter. They have never won an NBA title, although they do have three western conference titles to their credit. Basketball legends such as Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash have all donned the orange and purple.

Record sales

The Phoenix Suns acquisition is a new record in NBA history and surpasses that of the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, when Chinese businessman Joe Tsai bought the team for 2.35 billion. This sale surpassed that of the Houston Rockets in 2017 ($2.2 billion) and the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 ($2 billion).

One of the NBA's most storied franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers were involved in an acquisition deal which valued the team at $5 billion, but the purchase was only partial, unlike that of the Suns.

End to Obama buyout rumors

Since Sarver put the Phoenix Suns on the market, several names were linked to the franchise. One of them was Barack Obama.

The former president's passion for basketball is well known, and he is a staunch supporter of the Chicago Bulls. As reported in October by The Ringer founder Bill Simmons, Obama was among an investment group that was looking to acquire the Suns.

During an appearance in November, the former president went so far as to "flirt" with buying the Phoenix Suns.