Sportress of Blogitude

Suns owner’s stunt results in goats defecating in former GM’s office

The Phoenix Suns have been among the NBA’s worst teams going on three seasons, and a motivational stunt gone horrifically awry is a symbolic illustration of the sorry state of the much-maligned franchise.

An in-depth piece from ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz about the Suns’ current organizational malaise details how owner Robert Sarver once attempted to inspire then-general manager Ryan McDonough by having goats placed in his office, an arguably ill-advised practical joke/motivational ploy/gambit that sought to make some kind of ill-conceived “GOAT” connection.

Perhaps to no surprise given the nature of the effort, things did not go well. In fact, it resulted in a literal scatological disaster.

“Four years after naming McDonough general manager, Sarver acquired some live goats from a Diana Taurasi event at Talking Stick Resort Arena and planted them upstairs in McDonough’s office,” Arnovitz writes. “The stunt was both a practical joke and an inspirational message — the Suns should find a GOAT of their own, one who dominates like Taurasi. The goats, unaware of their metaphorical connotation, proceeded to defecate all over McDonough’s office.”

McDonough was hired by the Suns to serve as the general manager on May 7, 2013, and he was fired earlier this season on Oct. 8, 2018. The Suns posted a 155-255 (.378) record during his tenure and never finished higher than ninth place in the Western Conference.

According to the timeline presented in the piece, the goat-defecation debacle appears to have occurred at some point in 2017.

The case can be made that the messy situation that was plaguing the Suns at the time — not to mention the one left in McDonough’s office thanks to the goats — probably should have been viewed by the former general manager as a harbinger of the bad things to come the following year.