I can live with ignorance. I spelled "example" "eggsample" until I was eight. But, by the time I graduated third grade, I'd decided I'd had enough of Mrs. Lemick chuckling when I turned in assignments. I've since embarked on a life-long journey of trying to find the truth, and acting accordingly. For a simpleton like me, it's the only way I'll make it anywhere in this world.
Turns out, Suns owner Robert Sarver - and the $400 million net worth he comes with - play by different rules. According to his former GM, Sarver rejected a universally acknowledged golden rule in sports - to let the sports people make sports decisions.
"As far as Luka's evaluation in particular, he was still playing in Spain in 2018 in the playoffs which made it difficult," Ryan McDonough said on The Crossover with Chris Mannix. "I was not able to go see him play late that year in May and June. Had I gone to see him play - he dominated the playoffs in the Euro League Final Four - you know, would we have arrived at a different conclusion? Keeping in mind that I did not have ultimate autonomy to make basketball decisions there? I don't know."
There it is. Ryan McDonough did not have the autonomy to take Luka Doncic in the 2018 draft, even if he wanted to.
If this had happened in 2004, I'd cut Sarver some slack. Sports weren't as sophisticated, with the analytics movement and all, and there was a general lack of information about the best way to run a team. But in the modern era - when a prerequisite for any diehard sports fan is to know that the best owners keep their hands out of the cookie jar - Sarver being this involved in basketball decisions is astounding.
According to former Suns head coach Earl Watson, Sarver micromanaged the 2017 draft as well.
Major American professional sports are too smart, too well-funded and too competitive for novices to make gut-feeling decisions. It may be your sandbox as an owner, but you're going to be left alone inside of it if you don't share the fun. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones figured this out. He realized the NFL was getting too complex for him to navigate, so he handed the reigns over to his son Stephen Jones, as well as the rest of the Cowboys' football people, right before the team entered its current post-Romo era of consistency.
Maybe that's what Sarver did after 2018. Maybe he realized his woes after Josh Jackson flamed out, and Jayson Tatum ascended.
Maybe Luka Doncic's Sunday afternoon buzzerbeater was enough proof that he should let the basketball people do what they do best.