The NBA’s independent investigation into allegations of misogyny, racism and toxic culture by Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver is “getting close to the end,” league commissioner Adam Silver told Yahoo Sports this week.
In November, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes published a bombshell report that included more than 70 current and former team employees’ claims against Sarver. Among them was Sarver allegedly using the N-word repeatedly, discussing sexually explicit topics in the office and verbal tirades. Additional allegations have come out since the initial report.
Sarver has denied the allegations, including releasing a statement before the story was published.
The NBA launched an independent investigation by the Wachtell Lipton law firm into the claims. There have been no status updates about the investigation or timeline for its conclusion from the league or Suns.
“No, no update other than we’re getting close to the end,” Silver told Yahoo Sports. “There’s no question about it. It’s a complex investigation. There are hundreds of people who are involved and need to be interviewed. And we also want to make sure we protect the rights of everyone involved.
“So these things by nature, I know what frustrates people, do seem to take a lot of time, but we’re certainly getting very close to the end.”
Sarver reportedly was set to be interviewed by investigators in March. At that time, more than 300 people had been interviewed as part of the investigation.
After the investigation began in November, Sarver’s wife, Penny, reportedly sent intimidating messages to several former Suns employees. She confirmed to ESPN that she sent the messages.
Former Suns employees were partially released from nondisclosure agreements in order to speak to investigators. However, the NDAs were still upheld outside of the investigation.
Sarver has continued to run the team as normal, attending NBA board of governors meeting in April. Silver said at that time the investigation was “certainly closer to the end than the beginning,” according to ESPN.