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NBA

We’re Going To Need A Bigger Suspension Yacht

Robert Sarver
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

This idea has been stolen in its entirety from Comrade Moskovitz, who made the mistake of typing of something clever where someone else could see it, to wit:

Yes! Yes, damn it to hell! The Suspension Yacht! A moment of madcap turned into pure purloined inspiration!

To be clear, nobody knew for sure at the time that Robert Sarver, troglodytic owner of the Phoenix Suns and a holder of the Order Of The Brutish Lout Of The Lair, was going to be suspended for a year and fined $10 million dollars for all the grisly stuff in Comrade Anantharaman’s summation, so the “if true” part is now “totally true.” There is some quibble about whether he might have meant the use of the n-word in some new way that was not racial in nature (“The investigation made no finding that Mr. Sarver’s workplace misconduct was motivated by racial or gender-based animus,” according to the NBA statement), though it seems comprehensively racist to any and all logical language-based interpretations, but that’s the dance the NBA has to do—to fine Sarver for being a racist while not saying he was a racist, however the hell that’s supposed to happen.

But it’s the suspension part that actually amuses, because unless Sarver is going to post guards outside the places he is supposedly banned from to keep him from going inside, he’s going to go wherever he wants whenever he wants, because in a business powered by franchise owners, franchise owners don’t get told by mere employees like Adam Silver that he has to piss off until next September.

Hence, the Moskovitz Suspension Yacht, anchored off Montserrat and containing any and all ownership scofflaws so that the punishment that actually doesn’t fit the crime actually can be enforced. A massive, Abramovich-sized vessel with all the accoutrements that every multi-billionaire with a lax view of the niceties of sports team ownership could ever want. It never docks, but can in case of whim be sent off to any other island, with supplied ferried in and a helipad to replace the help when working conditions become too onerous, like when the guest of honor starts spewing bile because that G&T made from Watenshi and the effervesced tears of unicorns didn’t have enough ice.

Now the $10 million, that’s a sunk cost, because the league can actually take that just by withholding the equivalent of Jae Crowder from the annual TV windfall. It’s the you can’t go there because this $22/hour guy in a yellow jacket says you can’t part that is so risible. Sarver might not be able to wrestle the guard to the ground, but since he pays the guard, he can order the guard to wrestle himself to the ground and then walk around him. He can still Zoom any league meeting or eavesdrop it if he is trying to be discreet, and he surely can still issue orders like the maharajah he surely believes himself to be.

But on the Suspension Yacht, he would have to actually leave his Tuesday cabana and walk all the way to his adjacent 4,000-square foot anteroom and log on to stay abreast of the company doings in his pretend absence. Nobody on the yacht could stop him from doing that, either, but without the nuclear-powered lifeboats or a helicopter at the ready for a quick escape, he’d still be yacht-bound. He could tell jokes with Stephen Ross about the value of throwing games, or putting his feet up on the help like he did at home, or just wait for Danny Snyder’s arrival to exchange notes on how to sue their partners—all while enjoying the Caribbean warmth, or the joys of the South Pacific, or a swing around the Cape Of Preposterous Wealth. In a world in which the rich have even fewer boundaries than ever before, this would teach ’em a thing or two. Well, OK, just one. No need to be aggressively punitive.

Anyway, well done to the NBA for making sure Bob Sarver learns the error of his ways and doesn’t repeat them until … ohhh, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say Thursday. And happy boating.

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