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'This is not just another NBA team': Mat Ishbia introduced as Phoenix Suns' new owner

The Phoenix Suns introduced Mat Ishbia as the team's new owner on Wednesday morning.

PHOENIX — A new era in The Valley is on the horizon with the Phoenix Suns introducing Mat Ishbia as the team's new owner at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Over the course of his nearly half-hour-long press conference, the billionaire mortgage lender laid out his vision for the Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, while expressing excitement regarding the opportunity.

"To be clear, this particular franchise was the target," Ishbia said. "I was going to go get this team. This was the dream. The dream city, the dream opportunity, the dream organization. In my head, I couldn't believe it became available.

"This is not just another NBA team. This is the Phoenix Suns. The Phoenix Mercury. Great tradition, great history, great former players. At the same time, great, great, great community and opportunity. I'm really excited about it."

Ishbia's introduction came two days after the NBA Board of Governors approved his reported $4 billion purchase of the franchise from former owner Robert Sarver, who originally purchased the Suns in 2004. 

Sarver opted to sell the team after the NBA fined him $10 million and suspended him for one year in both the NBA and the WNBA following an independent investigation into the usage of a racial slur and workplace misconduct.

READ MORE: Six things you need to know about the NBA's report on Robert Sarver

A native of Birmingham, Michigan, Ishbia was a walk-on point guard on the Michigan State University men's basketball team from 1999-2002, winning a national title as a member of the Spartans roster in 2000. In 2013, he succeeded his father as the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage before taking the company public in January 2021.

As of this month, Forbes lists his net worth as $5.4 billion USD.

Following the approval of Ishbia's purchase, Suns Vice Chairman Jahm Najafi released the following statement:

“In recognition of our enthusiasm for Mat, as the new steward of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, Cheryl and I have decided to maintain all of our family’s investment in the team and to support fully Mat’s commitment to a positive workplace environment, social justice and dignity for all employees and players. I personally look forward to working with him and am honored to continue as Vice Chairman and Alternate on the NBA Board of Governors. We are excited for this new chapter of our invaluable community treasure."

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