Link: Josh Kroenke in sole control of team vision as Nuggets president

Benjamin Hochman, Nuggets beat writer for The Denver Post, recently published an article answering many of the questions fans have been asking about the current turmoil withing the Nuggets organization. He covers both the primary reasons for why Masai Ujiri fled to Toronto and why George Karl was let go before his current contract expired. This is a must read for any Nuggets fan as it outlines the current shift in power within the organization that will likely affect the team for years to come. As Hochman states in his title, it’s becoming more and more clear that Josh Kroenke is running the show.

  • joefresco

    It is kind of odd that Karl was making $4.5 million and it only would have been an extra $2 million to outdo Toronto for Masai. I totally would have accepted Karl for another year if it meant keeping Masai.

    • joefresco

      And at what point does the Kroenke family rethink this whole contract extension thing? The whole 1.2 million for Masai was a great deal — and they could have gotten it done. Do they really have no regret?

      • David Tesler

        They are a bunch of retards who has no idea what they are doing. Being a heir means no brains. In other words, Josh Kroenke has no fucking clue as to what he is doing, and needs to be removed from ownership and thrown into the nearest sewage. We need a real loyal billionaire that will pay whatever it takes for the Nuggets to succeed, even if it means overpaying Karl and Ujiri to remain in Denver over Toronto and G-d knows what else.

  • ny nugs fan

    as a longtime nuggets fan i think heads needed to roll after what happend in the playoffs; if that meant losing ujiri and letting karl walk, then so be it

    the nugs should have made it as far as memphis and challenged the spurs to be in the finals; or should have been the pacers of this years playoffs; not getting there was a set-back because it didnt allow this young team the chance to know what it means to make a run in the playoffs… and get over the hump next year; no matter how you slice it losing in the 1st round was a huge set-back

    i like the fact that this guy keeps talking about winning a banner in denver… been watching the nugs since the 70s and we need a banner man…. time-out for the bs

    • David Tesler

      I disagree. We had the nucleus set up, a damn fine coach. Now Kroenke wants to blow it up and start over? Fuck him. He’s the one that needs to quit and sell the team to someone else who knows what they are doing – as in paying back loyality. Kroenke wouldn’t know loyality if it bit him on the ass.

  • herpderpnuggets

    I just hope that Kroenke can get his shit together and hire a good coach and GM before too long, we need some free agents this summer and i dont want the nuggets situation to scare them away

    • polynikes27

      It is obvious he is not going to hire a GM, he wants to be Jerry Jones and play with the Nuggets like franchise mode on a video game. Anyone he hires will just be a yes man.

      • Mikey K

        Seriously? He will hire someone with a basketball background. I bet he ends up keeping D’Alessandro even if he gave Sacramento permission to talk to him. If anything it is to likely judge market value. He needs someone that will do the legwork even if the final decision lies with him. No one knows if Josh was the brains behind the current roster and Masai got all the glory. We don’t know what happened behind closed doors and we probably never will. Guessing and making accusations will get us no where.

        Wait to see how the start of next season plays out. The only move early that would give me pause about Josh would be if he hires Lionel Hollins as coach. Our roster is ill-equipped to handle his really horrible style of basketball. Memphis was probably more boring to watch than the Spurs (at least the Spurs play offense!).

  • sherlock

    Good article, nice to have some insight to the situations. With Masai, if Toronto is “home” and he asked Josh not to match, ok then I can live with that. What kind of gets me excited though, is the fact that Josh saw through the GK, regular season success, failure in the playoffs. If it were truly about the dollars and cents, Josh would have kept GK on, anther solid regular season, leads to sold out Pepsi Center and hype (again) going into the playoffs only for a first round exit. What’s exciting is it sounds like Josh wants more, he expects more. He knows we have a solid team, he knows this could go one of two way, we could get better or we could get worse, but he’s willing to roll the dice and see what this team is really made of. Rather then sticking with the same old status quo, he’s willing to shake it up, see what’s we’ve got in McGee and these younger players who GK refused to play. Maybe we won’t get the 3rd seed next year, but I know we’ll make the playoffs with this roster, and I bet we will know by the trading deadline if McGee is someone to hold onto or trade for a washing machine and a can of coke. All in all I’m happy Josh had the balls to do something rather then stand pat, even if it means we take a step back wins and losses wise, we will truly know what we have in Denver.

    • polynikes27

      I understand the front office wants McGee to play but I thought the way Karl handled him this year was great. We all know Javale is a incandescent athlete but his problem was he didn’t know how to play Basketball like a professional, he developed terrible habits in Washington because he got minutes no matter what, he was rewarded for potential not improvement. Karl kept Javale on a short leash but encouraged him too, he always got lowpost plays called for him when he would check in (something none of the other big men got) but Karl was not afraid to put him on the bench when his D got sloppy or he started standing around on O. I think this was a blueprint on how to restart JAvales development and considering we signed him for 4 years spending 1 to try and teach him minutes are earned on the court not in the boardroom. Karl brought along Faried, Lawson, and Fournier in the same manner and I think we are all happy with those results.

      • sherlock

        I agree that McGee developed some bad habits in Washington, because he played no matter what since that team is such a joke. However, I think this year could have been more about learning and less about Karl proving his power. 18 minutes a game is a joke, that’s less then 5 minutes a quarter. 5 minutes is just enough time to get a sweat going. I understand he made some stupid plays and can be lazy. There are better, more effective ways of teaching a young player how to play then letting him ride the bench for huge amounts of time. I feel like this year was a bit of a waste for McGee.

        Karl was known here in Denver for his refusal to play young guys. Ty Lawson took 2 full years before he was given to opportunity to be the starting PG. And don’t even get me started with Faried and Fournier, if we hadn’t have forced Karl’s hand by trading Nene Faried would still be riding the bench. The only reason he saw the court was because Masai forced his hand. Fournier should have seen much much more playing time this year but as usual he’s stuck on the bench and we only saw a glimpse of what he can do bcuz of injuries.

  • Ernie

    To me it sounds as if Kroenke was mad that he didn’t get any credit for the team’s success. Masai wins an award, Karl wins an award and Josh was left out.

    Does anyone really think that Josh Kroenke would be hired by any of the other 29 teams to head their operation? The idea that he can put together a championship team on his own is a joke.

    • David Tesler

      Kroenke has already won an award. It’s called Douchebag of the Millenia award. The only way to get rid of it is to sell all of his Colorado assets. And Arsenal and St. Louis Rams and get the fuck out of sport business.

  • David Tesler

    Kroenke needs to sell his entire Colorado assets and get the fuck out of Denver. He is persona non grata around in this state.

    • herpderpnuggets

      dude calm down….the constant bashing is a little annoying

      • sherlock

        Seriously, slightly over the top. Nobody wants to read your hate mail.

        • Henry Hughes

          I must agree. Even if this guy actually believes what he’s writing about Kroenke, there’s no reason to bash him. fwiw, though I’m no big fan of rich sports owners, there is every reason to believe our Josh Kroenke is making the best of a bad situation with Ujiri. And firing Karl will help, not hurt, the Nuggets, imo.

      • Mikey K

        Let’s see what he does. His moves on the Avs side have shown a willingness to want to win–bringing in people that know winning because they’ve been winners for their entire careers.

        And who knows–maybe the moves the Nuggets have made that were done in Masai’s name have really been Josh. Remember, even Masai agreed that everything was a collaboration between he and Josh. Maybe Josh’s ideas were the ones used but Masai in the role of GM got all the credit even if it was Josh’s name on all the checks.

  • DavidRMC

    Kroenke’s “business” strategy of only negotiating a contract once the first one is up is patently stupid. Extending someone before their contract is up is how you create value, this is basic stuff. Even if he thought that the Nuggets were not going to be this good before the season, he had to have known that the team was going to be good enough that Masai’s market value would rise. If he would have extended him when he had the chance not only would Masai still be here, he’d be here for a much cheaper price.

    As for saying that Masai wouldn’t have come back even if they matched….it is not totally implausible. Job security is a GM’s number one priority and in a job that measures you by wins and losses that means picking the best situation. Denver may look like a better situation than Toronto on the surface but the Raptors have promised Masai that they are ready and willing to spend (go into the luxury tax) to compete, something Denver has never been too keen on doing.

  • heykyleinsf

    Lionel Hollins is now available. Grizzlies were #1 in the NBA in defense.

    • Mikey K

      And the offense was on the side of a milk carton all season.

      • heykyleinsf

        Maybe so.. but we led the NBA in scoring. Who do you want?

        • Mikey K

          I’d be willing to give Shaw a shot. He was an assistant on the team that took the defending champs to 7 games. Was an assistant to Phil. He learned defense from Indiana (right up there with Memphis) and I think he would be able to build the offense to keep the home court advantage we have here in Denver (run, run, then run some more) but also teach a half court game that works in the playoffs.

          If not him, anyone with the last name Van Gundy. Well, ok,, not ANYBODY, but the two that have been head coaches.

          • sherlock

            I really think Shaw could be a good hire for us. Just like you pointed out I don’t think he’s going to come into Denver and impose his will on our team, like older head coaches tend to be. I think he could come in see we can run and that should be or priority, but I think he can teach our guys how to run a set offense when we need to. Something that effective ala the triangle. I also believe it’s a goog thing he spent the last couple years in Indiana they play solid defense something I’m sure he picked up on. I too would like to see what a Van Gundy could bring to the table if Shaw goes to LAC.