Report: Nuggets to interview Lionel Hollins on Saturday

ESPNLA’s Ramona Shelburne has reported that “Lionel Hollins will interview with the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, according to a source.”

Earlier this week, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reported that the Pacers and the Grizzlies had, respectively, granted the Nuggets permission to talk to Brian Shaw and Hollins in their pursuit to find a replacement for fired head coach George Karl. (more…)

Out of Bounds: How a Simple Rule Change can Hurt the Nuggets Offense

As I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline on Wednesday afternoon one tweet caught my eye.

It was different from the normal NBA Finals analysis that has filled that space lately and something that many people probably saw and blew right by.

That tweet is below:

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End of an era: One fan’s struggle to embrace a Hall of Fame coach

I can’t lie. I’ve thought about writing this article for years. Years. After each futile, heartless, disappointing exit in the first round of the playoffs, I was so ready to write this article that I couldn’t sleep. This year was no different. This year I wanted it just as bad as I have for the last several years. And yet, here it is, less than a week since Karl was let go, and I’m not sure I even want to write it anymore.

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Hunt for head coach?

According to Philly.com’s John Mitchell, the Denver Nuggets are “believed to be interested in promoting [Melvin] Hunt to replace George Karl.” Mitchell is also reporting the 76ers are interested in Hunt for their current head coaching vacancy. This is the first time Hunt’s name has been mentioned in connection with Denver’s search for a new head coach since George Karl was fired last week.

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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.

“What is happiness?” — The George Karl status quo

“What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.”

This hauntingly apt delineation of human desire was uttered by the titular anti-hero of “Mad Men,” Don Draper, in a not-so-subtle metaphor for his own perpetuating unhappiness. For those who don’t watch, “Mad Men” is an AMC show that chronicles the death rattle of 1960’s culture through the eyes of either growing chameleonic or increasingly obsolete admen. It doubles, however, as commentary on the timeless endeavors of the human experience, one being the endless pursuit of happiness. Don, like nearly all the characters on “Mad Men,” suffers from perpetual disillusionment with his own status quo. No matter where he is in his life he always wants more, and the crux of the show revolves around life returning him with regressing amounts of less. His continuous failure to stop and be content where he is sends him careening toward a progressively vacant, self deprecating, and most of all, unhappy existence.

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Karl fired: What we know (with reaction!)

What. Just. Happened?

It’s been over 12 hours since news first broke of Karl’s firing and I’m still not entirely convinced this isn’t all some crazed, sports-obsessed dream. After all, I was bedridden yesterday due to food poisoning and I could have sworn I was delusional for at least a few minutes. These things happen, right? People enter trance-like states for extended periods on a regular basis… don’t they? Can someone pinch me? PLEASE?!?!

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Breaking News: Nuggets Fire George Karl

In an off-season that started with discussions of George Karl’s future before rapidly shifting to the future of Masai Ujiri everything has now suddenly come full circle as Yahoo! has reported the firing of George Karl.

According to the report the main reasoning was that Karl was adamant on getting a contract extension before the start of the season while the Nuggets brass was unwilling to work one out with the murky front office future ahead.

From the Yahoo! piece:

With one year left on his contract, Karl was pushing for a contract extension and ownership was unwilling to make the commitment. With a sense that Denver could be facing a year of acrimony with the 2012-’13 NBA Coach of the Year, CEO Josh Kroenke decided to part ways with Karl.

For Kroenke, this was a bold move for the franchise, but multiple sources said that Karl had been so unhappy about going into the final year of his contract without a new deal that things could’ve become untenable with him.

Nuggets management believes it can attract an elite coach with its talented, young roster.

One would assume based on the timing of the move that the Nuggets are going to throw themselves right into the running for Brian Shaw and possibly Lionel Hollins, the two biggest name coaches on the market at the moment.

What it does though is leave the future of the team and most of its members, brought in to play to Karl’s specific system, up in the air. The biggest question mark in that regard is now Andre Iguodala.

Will he still consider the Nuggets, now in the market for a new GM and head coach, or will he move on to a place with much more structure and consistency?

Obviously stay tuned here at Roundball Mining Company for more reaction.

 

JaVale McGee – The Stain Masai Ujiri Leaves Behind

If you’re a chocolate enthusiast you’ve probably experienced the irritating stains the delectable dainty can often leave behind. I’m sure most people have one or two white shirts in the wardrobe with subtle traces of the brown substance imprinted onto the fabric, which refuse to vanish no matter how many times they’ve been washed. In the NBA, general managers come and go, but their errors often linger even when they are long gone. Thus the pressure on a GM is excruciating, as one careless decision can set a team back for years to come, and even if they end up losing their job, a stain of their tenure often remains as a constant reminder of their regime. (more…)

UNLEASH THE MANIMAL! (But maybe from the bench)

The story of Kenneth Faried’s career is a very interesting one.

Despite being the all-time leading rebounder in modern-day NCAA history, Faried fell all the way the 22nd pick in the 2011 NBA draft where the Nuggets scooped him up.

The reasons he fell were well documented; he was undersized, lacked an offensive game, and was an average finisher. But he also had some huge strengths; the rebounding prowess, the motor and his incredible athleticism.

He ended up in the perfect situation in Denver, a place where he was asked to rebound and run the floor, things he did very well. Because of that he burst on the scene as a rookie with highlight after highlight. He also captured peoples’ hearts and imagination; I have seen projections from various Nuggets followers that call him a future All-Star, a superstar and even Dennis Rodman 2.0.

But 2012-2013 should temper those expectations just a bit and raise a very interesting, and difficult, decision for George Karl and whoever runs the Nuggets front office going forward.

Is Faried better utilized as a sixth man?

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Link: A Closer Look at Ujiri’s Time in Denver

A few days ago in my reaction piece to Ujiri’s departure I mentioned talking with Sam Holako about how Raptors fans were unlucky to see Ujiri flee from Toronto to Denver. Now that the tables have turned, Holako recently caught up with me to discuss what Toronto is getting in their new general manager. You can view our conversation at RMC’s fellow TrueHoop blog, Raptors Republic. But if you’re short on time and want the truncated version, it basically went like this: Ujiri is a great GM, especially in regards to the draft, and Raptors fans are incredibly lucky to have him. Or, as Holako puts it in his article, “TL;DR: Masai Ujiri comes as advertized.”

Roundball Roundtable: On Ujiri’s departure

Masai Ujiri leaving the Denver Nuggets has the potential to be one of the most devastating franchise decisions the Kroenke family has ever made. Conversely, the Nuggets might hire the next Masai Ujiri and be just fine. Either way, the decision to let him speak with the Raptors and ultimately sign with his former Canadian squad said something about the Nuggets as a franchise. It said something about the Kroenkes and it said something about the order of the Nuggets’ priorities. Our writers have a few ideas about what that something is, which we’ve laid out below in our latest Roundball Roundtable.

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Rumor: Karl’s status with Nuggets now “unsettled”

According to ESPNLA.com’s Ramona Shelburne, current Nuggets head coach and reigning NBA Coach of the Year, George Karl, might be on the hot seat. Per Shelburne:

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl’s status has become “unsettled” following the departure of general manager Masai Ujiri for the Toronto Raptors, two sources close to the situation said late Saturday night.

Karl, who was named the NBA’s coach of the year following the Nuggets’ 57-win season, is not in any imminent danger of losing his job, the sources stressed. But Ujiri’s departure, coupled with Denver’s disappointing first-round playoff exit, has shaken things up in Denver to the point that Karl, who is under contract for just one more season, could, incredibly, begin the season on the hot seat after winning the league’s top coaching honor for the first time in his long career, instead of beginning extension talks.

This is somewhat surprising news. Throughout nearly a decade the Nuggets roster has been totally transformed. The front office has repeatedly switched personnel. Yet with each new season George Karl has remained head coach. When Masai Ujiri first came on as general manager of the Nuggets, rumors swirled that he was unhappy with Karl, yet a few months later he inked him to a potential six-year extension. Now, after only several days since Ujiri departed the Nuggets, rumors are again swirling that Karl’s position with the franchise is less than 100 percent secure. Of course, the fact the Clippers recently inquired about Karl certainly helps expedite this speculation; nevertheless, one can’t help but wonder which high-ranking Nuggets officials are more fans of Karl than others.

Reaction: Kroenkes more talk than walk

A few years back I exchanged e-mails with a Raptors Republic blogger (I think it was Sam Holako) about Masai Ujiri. Although he was still just beginning his career in Denver, it was clear Ujiri had the innate ability to evaluate talent that Bryan Colangelo lacked. I said I felt bad for Raptors fans, that they deserved better given their struggles since, well forever, but I also didn’t feel bad for them. After all, Ujiri was in Denver. It wasn’t my favorite team he’d be terrorizing. (more…)

BREAKING: Masai Ujiri leaving Nuggets for Toronto Raptors

The news Nuggets fans have been dreading for a week straight became a reality Friday afternoon. The Toronto Raptors ongoing pursuit of former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri is complete with Masai agreeing to a five year deal to become the Raptors’ next general manager.


Woj’s tweet was corroborated a few minutes later by CBS4′s Vic Lombardi, who confirms Ujiri himself has announced he’s out as the Nuggets’GM.


It’s a tough reality for the Nuggets, who now have to start looking forward to an uncertain summer after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. Obviously we will have a lot more coverage of what this means going forward, but Masai ended up signing the rich deal we all feared a savvy NBA team might offer in order to pry away the executive of the year.

Toronto did what it took to get him and for a hard worker with as humble beginnings as Ujiri, it is major success story. Congratulations to Masai.

UPDATE: The Nuggets have released a statement regarding Masai Ujiri. Team president Josh Kroenke announced a search for a new executive and the departing Masai Ujiri offers a few quotes as well. Read the full text on the Nuggets official website here.

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