By: Kayla Mortellaro
PHOENIX— The Phoenix Suns announced today that President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby will transition in to a special advisory role effective August 1.
Babby asked owner Robert Sarver to reduce his role with the team after having served as the President of Basketball Operations since July 20, 2010.
“I am extremely grateful to Robert for accommodating my wish to reduce my work load a little bit,” Babby said. “I was looking at a picture the other day at myself at my first press conference and I realized the only president who has aged more in the last five years is Barack Obama.
Babby, 63, has been part of some winning and losing Suns’ teams. In his first year, the Suns went 40-42 followed by records of 33-33 and 25-57. In May 2013, Babby hired General Manager Ryan McDonough and saw the team turn- it- around to a record of 48-34 but this past season slip a little to 39-43.
“I am happy to have a little bit more time with my family but the flexibility of a new schedule, reducing my time to 50 percent and it will probably be more than that but I feel like I will have the psychological freedom to do other things in the community,” Babby said.
In the meantime, McDonough along with Assistant General Manager’s Pat Connelly and Trevor Bukstein will assume responsibilities of President of Basketball Operations.
“I think in any organization people obviously realize we pick the players, draft the players, trade for players and sign players in free agency,” McDonough said. “The part that a lot of people don’t see is the day-to-day management of an organization of a couple hundred people in the Suns organization. But specifically with the basketball operations, you have to manage the front office, the scouting staff, the coaching staff, the training staff, you have to negotiate employee contracts, interact with agents and work on potential trades and take time to get out and scout.”
McDonough admitted that he will do a little more of those things but will lean on Connelly and Bukstein to help in the process.
As for Babby, his new role will return to more of what he did prior to joining the Suns organization.
“I think my new role in a lot of ways will be like my role before I became the president of the Suns,” Babby said. “I am sort of going back to being an advisor, a counselor, helping people think through problems and strategic planning with the luxury of not having to execute on anything. I think I’ll still be very much involved in the planning and strategic thinking and working through problems and that’s really probably what I’m best at, so it should be great for both of us.”
The major event upcoming for the Suns is the June 25th NBA draft where the team has the 13th overall selection.