Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ‘the only way to have a friend is to be one.’ Suns owner Robert Sarver both had a friend in, and was a friend to, the late NFL linebacker Junior Seau who passed away Wednesday.
As a guest of Arizona Sports 620’s “Burns & Gambo” show, Sarver, who met Seau through a mutual friend in San Diego in 1996, shared his memories of his late companion Thursday.
“His personality was bigger than life,” he told the hosts. “Everything he did, he did with such energy and gusto. He was the kind of guy that, when he came into a room, he was buddies with everybody and he fit into everything no matter who he was with and where he was.”
Some of the activities Seau pursued with that vigor and enthusiasm Sarver described, the Suns’ owner also had an opportunity to witness first hand during his decade and a half of knowing the former NFL Star.
“We kind of had a group of five of us that played a lot of golf, a little bit of beach volleyball, a lot of poker, trips to Vegas and trips to L.A,” he shared with an obvious sadness in his voice. “We just kind of hung out a lot together.”
While Sarver wouldn’t speculate as to what led to his friend’s tragic and apparent suicide, he did share insight into Seau’s post playing career mindset.
“You just don’t know what goes on inside someone’s house and you don’t know what goes on in someone’s head sometimes,” he explained. “He just had a tough time to adjusting to life after playing football for sure.
“He really enjoyed the camaraderie and being part of a team. I know he really missed that when he stopped playing.”
It’s clear through Sarver’s memories and the stories that have emerged from other friends and family over the last few days, Seau, and the camaraderie he provided over the years, will be missed by many. Though it sounds like the Suns’ owner is great being a friend to and having a friend in, the southern California sports legend.