Sources: Firm vows confidentiality in Suns probe

    Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) is a senior writer for ESPN Digital and Print, focusing on the NBA. He has covered the Lakers, the Celtics and previously worked for The Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times.

In initial remarks made to Phoenix Suns employees Monday, lawyers from the New York-based Wachtell Lipton firm that’s investigating the team and majority owner Robert Sarver addressed concerns about retaliation, confidentiality and a timeline for completion, league sources told ESPN.

Two attorneys from the firm — David Anders and Sarah Eddy — were in Phoenix and led the talk to employees over a Zoom call, league sources said.

The firm is working on behalf of the NBA, which announced the investigation after ESPN’s story — based on interviews with more than 70 current and former Suns employees — reported allegations of racism and misogyny in a sometimes hostile and toxic workplace during Sarver’s 17-year tenure in Phoenix. It was noted on the call that this firm has led previous investigations of NBA franchises, including the LA Clippers and Atlanta Hawks.

The attorneys on the call explained that anyone who would like to remain confidential in a potential final report would indeed have their identity kept confidential, according to league sources.

Employees were also told, league sources said, that a thorough investigation would take time and that the attorneys were interested in all perspectives from all employees.

It was stressed, league sources said, that the attorneys’ role is to find facts and not have any preconceived notions entering the investigation. The attorneys also encouraged participation and cooperation while acknowledging concerns employees might have about being retaliated against, league sources said.

Employees were encouraged to reach out to the two attorneys directly, league sources said, though it was explained that the process would not be completed quickly and would also include relevant documents.

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