League Commissioner Adam Silver told Yahoo Sports this week that the NBA’s independent investigation into allegations of misogyny, racism and toxic culture by Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver is “close to the end.”
In November, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes published a bombshell report that included more than 70 complaints from current and former team employees against Sarver. Among them Sarver allegedly used the N-word frequently, discussed sexually explicit topics in the office and verbalized speeches. Other allegations have surfaced since the initial report.
Sarver denied the allegations, including issuing a statement before the story was published.
The NBA has launched an independent investigation by the Wachtell Lipton law firm into the allegations. There have been no updates on the status of the investigation or the timeline for its conclusion from the league or the Suns.
“No, there is no update other than that we are nearing the end,” Silver told Yahoo Sports. “There is no doubt about it. It is a complex investigation. There are hundreds of people who are involved and need to be interviewed. We also want to make sure that we protect the rights of everyone involved.
“So this stuff in nature, I know what frustrates people, it seems to take a lot of time, but we’re definitely very close to the end.”
Investigators were reportedly scheduled to interview Sarver in March. At the time, more than 300 people were interviewed as part of the investigation.
After the investigation began in November, Sarver’s wife, Penny, was reported to have sent letters of intimidation to several former Suns employees. She confirmed to ESPN that she sent the messages.
Former Suns employees have been partly released from non-disclosure agreements in order to speak to investigators. However, non-disclosure agreements remain in favor outside the investigation.
Sarver continued to run the team as usual, attending the NBA Board of Regents meeting in April. Silver said at the time that the investigation was “certainly closer to the end than the beginning,” according to ESPN.