here we go again.worst enemy Denver Nuggets – The worst enemy standing between them and the title – again proved to be their own organization. The reason is neither incompetence nor malfeasance. Instead, Denver’s billionaire ownership has once again shown that they are willing to pay extremely cheap and value people in ways that could cost Nuggets fans a 50-year dream.
In 2013, the Nuggets were at a crossroads. They have Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year, but coach George Karl is expensive and Denver has too many first-round exits. Star Carmelo Anthony has found a way out, and Toronto has offered general manager Masai Ujiri a big raise to return him to where he once served as director of global scouting. Denver refused to go along with the offer, and Ujiri went to Toronto, where he would eventually create a championship.
The Nuggets then fired their expensive coach and hired Tim Connery, who had to step in a few weeks before the draft and free agency, and the owners already had ideas for their next coach.This created the Bryan Shaw era in Denver, which started out pretty badly Inspired by the infamous Kevin Arnovitz hit For Nuggets fans. Connery, however, overcame initial hurdles and built a young contender almost entirely on his draft acumen (fortunately, Nikola Jokic got a chance when he was drafted in the second round) .
The Nuggets had the third-worst attendance in the league in 2015 and the worst in 2016 and 2017, all while digging from the wreckage. With no fans in the building for three years, and with extremely low market presence around town, fans are screaming for lower fares. Kroenkes is charging Carmelo Anthony and no one is biting. But if Kroenke Sports and Entertainment had a philosophy, it might be this: we don’t change, you change.
Prices stayed high, and fans turned away even as Nikola Jokic presented himself as an up-and-coming star to the few in attendance. Instead of pitching this young team to Denver audiences, the KSE undercut their own product because humiliating by lowering the ticket price — even if it’s better for the bottom line — is not acceptable to them.
This concept has manifested in everything over the past few years, from refusing to pay market prices to executives and employees, to stubbornly insisting that customers pay in the short and long term. The KSE’s battle with Comcast continues, heading into its fourth year, with fans unable to watch games on the team’s dominant cable provider in the state. Stan Kroenke could have solved the problem, and even paid his team to show up to show off the contenders he poured millions into creating. He didn’t. He will not. It’s not his nature.
Nuggets let Masai Ujiri go, in preliminary talks earlier this week Minnesota Timberwolves Tim Connelly was allowed to turn into a full-court press to get him out of Denver. History is trying to repeat itself.
ESPN news: Denver Nuggets president Tim Connery will travel this weekend to meet with Minnesota owner Glen Taylor, and the Timberwolves will hire Connery next, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the league.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 21, 2022
The conversation in Denver for years has been about Kroenke is reluctant to pay for ancillary things that make the team really work in the modern NBA. Whether it was Stan, Josh or Ann Walton Kroenke, no one in the building wanted to pull the trigger for a G League team until the Nuggets became one of the last NBA teams without a team. Denver’s mid-market competitors have all built a slew of new training facilities to take care of their athletes.this Utah Jazz ($20 million), Milwaukee Bucks ($31 million), phoenix suns ($45 million) and yes, the Timberwolves ($25 million) have invested in facilities and important priorities in recent years to make their athletes better prepared and healthier.
The Nuggets didn’t even have an announced plan, and were once again trying to be the last to accept paying the price for victory. Their current gym would embarrass several high schools in the area. They have to go to training camp every summer because their practice facilities can’t keep up with their needs.Denver has struggled with free agency, but it’s getting harder every year when you pass them by Locked refrigerator with soda water While other teams are showing off multi-million dollar jewelry complete with personal chefs and all the amenities that can be provided.
A few years ago, the Nuggets faced the Blazers in the playoffs. The pictures in this article are from the series. Portland’s media-only spread makes Denver home products look like dry salt and stale juice. Portland isn’t trying to lure members of the media from another market — it’s just their organizational philosophy to make the experience memorable.
But memorable experiences and amenities aside, the real test of an organization is whether it can find and retain talent. Finding talent doesn’t seem to be a problem. Maybe it’s the skill Kroenke is counting on, but it’s also going to be harder because organizations don’t seem to value the talent enough to retain it. Denver loses coaches to other organizations every year. Some of those are promotions — no one expects Wes Unseld Jr. to turn down the head coaching job — but some are lateral moves, almost certainly money-related. KSE has been paying low-end fees for coaches since George Karl left, and the apparent “we don’t change, you change” philosophy means a lot of coaching change for Denver.
The Nuggets operate like a college basketball team in a mini-conference, poaching talent they won’t pay each year, and at some point organizational churn will catch up. The Nuggets won the big with Marseille, then gave him away for nothing. They and Connery hit the jackpot again and are considering letting him go. Arturas Karnisovas has left his own team, so the Nuggets don’t have their best internal answer. At some point, and with no offense to Calvin Booth, the next executive won’t be in the top five. The next cheap coach will be a bad one. Luck will run out. The whole reason the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to poach Connery from the Nuggets was that he was the best option.
The question is why he is free. Why isn’t Connery being compensated so that looking elsewhere isn’t an option? He was pursued by the Washington Wizards not long ago, but the door remains open. Not valuing the people who work for you will have consequences. “Market price” only matters if the bench level doesn’t change much and no one wants to go above market price, but as the Timberwolves have shown, some teams are willing to pay top dollar for front-office talent and there’s a lot of ball around Team leagues have consistently demonstrated that turnover levels in the front office vary widely. Good is not on demand.
The lack of loyalty and rewards from the boss creates a very different vibe. Connelly has been a buffer between Kroenke’s long-term cheapness and the rest of the organization. Can different people do the same thing? Nikola Jokic takes relationships very seriously and calls coach Felipe Eichenberger “family,” will he accept the revolving door of people affecting him? Commitment to people on and off the field is important. An ownership group that thinks everyone can consume meets a star who doesn’t belong is a conflict that Denver can avoid.
This conflict is not required. This summer will be critical in shaping Jokic, along with key men Jamal Murray and potential Michael Porter, into a title-contending squad. As title contenders, roster-chasing veterans and role players are often offered cheaply to deepen the roster. Can Denver make a change near the finish line for those with front desks? The Nuggets don’t have any facilities to lure them, and a rotating assistant coach, Jordy Fernandez, who recently departed, now has the potential to start the offseason as the new president of basketball operations. Because of the cap situation, they can’t overbid. The person who made this proposal was crucial to gaining support, and now we don’t know who that was.
stan kroenke just won a championship Los Angeles Rams. Taking into account the real estate involved in the construction of the stadium, he used a lot of assets to make the necessary moves. Putting his Denver team on the back burner — because whether you believe the paperwork or not, he’s still implicated with the Nuggets and Avalanche — might be a prudent move for him. It’s not a prudent move for the Nuggets, and if he intends to not prioritize the Nuggets while not paying the price for their continuity, how does that affect Denver’s championship viability?
Jokic has yet to sign a contract extension, and providing $2.5 billion worth of documents for Nikola to sign is not a guarantee. Kroenke once used Marcus Camby’s penny-for-penny deal to get out of taxes, an easy money deal for one of America’s wealthiest families. The timeline of Connery’s departure, Jokic not renewing, and Denver’s dashed championship hopes are no longer a hilarious nightmare. Somehow, before everything the Nuggets have built, there is a looming cliff that threatens the joy of the upcoming season and even the era.
Denver’s current fight isn’t against Golden State Warriors or Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets and their future are now in a fierce battle with Stan Kroenke’s stingy ways. The legacy he’s trying to create in Los Angeles could be the death of his legacy here, and there’s no clear answer as to what will win. All we can do is watch the fight openly and hope that the future and fandom don’t get lost along the way.