Suns, Babby Agree to New Two-Year Deal
The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has reached an agreement with President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby on a new two-year contract. The deal will keep Babby in his current position through 2014-15.
“Lon has led our front office during this important transition period for the organization and he has my full support as we continue to rebuild,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver.
Babby was originally named just the fourth basketball president in franchise history on July 20, 2010, after almost 35 years as a practicing attorney with Washington, DC-based Williams & Connolly, LLP, where he was an industry leader in sports and contract negotiations.
Charged with guiding the Suns through a time of transition and building for the future, Babby and his basketball operations staff have placed a premium on building through the draft, demonstrated with the selections of Markieff Morris (2011) and Kendall Marshall (2012), and the acquisition of additional picks that will give Phoenix six first-round and four second-round selections for a total of 10 picks in the next three drafts. In addition, through a series of transactions, the Suns have infused youth by adding Goran Dragic (26), Marcin Gortat (29), Wesley Johnson (25), PJ Tucker (27), Marcus Morris (23) and Michael Beasley (24).
“I greatly appreciate the faith that Robert Sarver and the entire Suns organization have demonstrated with this new contract,” said Babby. “We have begun the heavy lifting needed to rebuild our team. While the transition is often painful, I am entirely confident that we are taking the necessary steps to regain elite NBA status. I fully embrace the opportunity to continue on that path.”
One of the industry’s most successful and well-regarded player agents, Babby began his career in sports representing first the NFL’s Washington Redskins (1977-84) and then MLB’s Baltimore Orioles (1979-94). For the Orioles, he was intimately involved in the senior management of the club. He first served as club counsel and then general counsel, overseeing player contract negotiations, advertising and marketing contracts, labor issues and general business matters, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. During his tenure, the Redskins appeared in two Super Bowls, winning in 1983, and the Orioles appeared in two World Series, also winning in 1983.
A graduate of Lehigh University and Yale Law School and former editor of Yale Law Journal, Babby has served as an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University Law School. He began his career as a litigator and handled several high-profile cases including the defense of John Hinckley, Jr., who shot President Reagan. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2007 was elected to the Greater Washington, DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
The 62-year-old Babby was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Valley Stream, N.Y. He and wife, Ellen, who has a higher education consulting business in Phoenix, met at summer camp at age 16 and have been married for 39 years. The couple has a son, Ken (32), who is the owner of the Akron Aeros of the Eastern League, and a daughter, Heather (29), a director of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue. Ken has a 4-year-old son, Josh. Heather is married to Eric Rimsky, an MBA student at Georgetown University.