HoopsHype Josh Kroenke rumors

March 10, 2012 Updates

Q: This franchise has never been shy about making a move to improve the team. With the March 15 trade deadline approaching, what’s your philosophy this season? A: Our ears are always open. We’re in a position this year where we don’t have to do anything, which is where you want to be in pro sports. Where you get in trouble in trades and deals and contracts is when people know you have to act. That’s when you end up overpaying somebody or making a lopsided trade that’s not in your favor. I think we’re in a position this year where we don’t have to do anything. I’m sure Masai will be working the phones and I’ll be talking to people here and there. We have ideas on what we’d like to do and where we could possibly improve, but we don’t need to do anything. We’re pretty pleased with where we are in the season, but if something comes up, you’ve always got to be ready. NBA.com

After working in the front office during the most successful three-year stretch in franchise history, Kroenke took over as team president before the 2010-11 season. He has since worked closely with executive vice president Masai Ujiri to reshape Denver’s roster through trades and the draft, while retaining key players such as Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari and Nene. With the Nuggets entering the final seven weeks of the season, Kroenke sat down at a recent shootaround to provide a view from the president’s box, so to speak. Q: What was your assessment of the first half of the season? A: We got off to a hot start and people were even asking me then, ‘Have you been surprised by this group of guys?’ Not necessarily have they surprised me; they were just kind of ahead of the curve. Eventually we came back down to earth, as any NBA team does over the course of a season. We battled through some injuries. We’re getting guys back healthy and we needed some rest. I think more than anything, that’s what the All-Star break gave us. NBA.com

Q: What advice has your father Stan Kroenke given you as you go through your first two years dealing with the ups-and-downs of the season and the other challenges inherent to running an NBA team? A: There are too many games to think about one win or one loss too much. You always have to be looking forward and moving forward. When it comes to some of the business stuff, he’s taught me extremely well. I’ve been groomed for this position for quite some time. While I understand a lot about the way the business works, I also know there’s a lot that I don’t understand yet. That’s where (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment executives) Jim Martin, Bruce Glazer, Mark Waggoner, Kurt Schwartzkopf, Stephen Stieneker, and all of the rest of our executive level guys come in. They do an unbelievable job of helping me out. For a young executive like me, they make things a lot easier and help me learn when I have questions … of which I have a lot! NBA.com

April 17, 2011 Updates

And Denver's sports fans better get used to him. (Josh) Kroenke runs two of the four major pro franchises in town and will for years, fueled by his Midwestern work ethic, calculating business mind and a sizable chip on his shoulder. "I've been teased since I was a kid about my family, and I've been ridiculed as a player," said Kroenke, in his first wide-ranging interview since taking over the Nuggets last summer. "Then, with the Nuggets, people would write that (executive) Masai (Ujiri) and I didn't know what we were doing. I've got to give credit to all the people who ripped me apart. They made me the person I am today. Though I didn't realize it at the time, I was getting seasoned for public life." Denver Post

In the summer of 2007, Kroenke dabbled with the idea of transitioning into sports management. His DNA, after all, is laced with orange leather, but he wondered what people would say. He had a talk with Neary that proved pivotal. "I told Mike, 'I want to do my own thing and be my own person,' and he said something like, 'That's the dumbest excuse I've ever heard,' " Kroenke recalled with a laugh. "Something very blunt. He goes, 'Life is all about opportunity and what you love to do, and you have the opportunity to carve out your own individual niche under your family's umbrella. What makes you happy? If it's what you love to do — and the opportunity is there — then why wouldn't you try it?' " Denver Post

He's the anti-heir. There's an heiress so famous that when people hear her first name, they think of Hilton, not France. Kroenke is an heir so anonymous that, on occasion, he will be asked to show his ID badge in the private hallways during a Nuggets game. "He has many outstanding personal attributes, but by far his greatest attribute is his humility," said Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond, who coached Kroenke as an assistant at Missouri. "I truly admire him for the man that he is." Denver Post

Stan Kroenke comes across, to those who know him well, as outgoing, passionate, funny and incredibly proud of his daughter, Whitney, 33, and his son, Josh. Perhaps the most telling accomplishment of Stan and Ann Kroenke is, wealth notwithstanding, how normal their kids turned out. "Our parents always emphasized hard work, character and loyalty — they helped put everything in perspective," said Whitney Kroenke, who Josh proudly calls "the smart one." "Growing up, he (Josh) was a rambunctious little boy, and he's grown into this incredibly poised man. It's been really fun to watch." Denver Post

March 23, 2011 Updates

As the NBA’s youngest president, Kroenke understood why so many people were skeptical whether he and Ujiri could pull off a franchise- defining trade. “I made a joke to people in passing that I wasn’t born as recently as a lot of people in this business, but I wasn’t born yesterday,” Kroenke said. “I understand that I might not know the fine points of the NBA like several people in this business. But I learned a lot throughout the process. It was an education of six years in six months. But I do know basketball and did know that superstars don’t exactly grow on trees.” Yahoo! Sports

Just days after committing to sign with the Miami Heat, LeBron James joked at the wedding reception that Anthony and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul needed to team up with Knicks newcomer Amar’e Stoudemire to compete. “By the end people were kind of toasting New York,” Josh Kroenke said. “It was uncomfortable. … But even with the toast I had a lot of fun. ‘Melo came over and asked my dad to say a few words and Amar’e came over and apologized.” Yahoo! Sports

On Aug. 22, Kroenke then met with Anthony, his agent Leon Rose and manager Robert “Bay” Frazier at a Baltimore hotel room. Anthony and his representatives told Kroenke he wanted to be traded to either the Knicks or Chicago Bulls. Talks with the Bulls never gained much momentum because Chicago didn’t want to part with center Joakim Noah. With Anthony holding sign-and-trade power – and the entire league soon knowing he wanted out of Denver – the Nuggets were thrust into a situation that Kroenke described as “ridiculously stressful.” “I was prepared,” Kroenke said. “But you’re never fully prepared when you walk into your first meeting and your franchise player wants to be traded.” Yahoo! Sports

Anthony was elated when Kroenke and Ujiri gave him the news. Other phone calls to Billups, a Denver native, and Carter, who lives in Denver in the offseason, were a lot tougher. “I wouldn’t say we were happy,” Kroenke said. “I would just say we were glad to have the situation behind us and just have certainty once again.” In the process, the Nuggets granted Anthony’s wish, delivering him a homecoming trade to New York. “Josh handled each and every situation head on and candidly,” Rose said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything more. I believe that the Denver Nuggets organization is in good hands with Josh and Masai and is headed in the right direction for years to come.” Yahoo! Sports

March 7, 2011 Updates
February 28, 2011 Updates

When I bumped into Josh (Kroene) and Masai (Ujiri) at Pepsi Center before Thursday night's game, I had invited them both to come to the party. At the time, they said they appreciated the invite but probably wouldn't be able to make it. So when they showed up, I was as surprised as anyone. After I thanked the great readers of Denver Stiffs for supporting this site and coming to the event, Josh and Masai each took the microphone and thanked Nuggets fans everywhere for their support through the Carmelo Anthony trade saga. They also stuck around for photos and talks with the fans, most of whom seemed awstruck that their favorite team's owner and GM would actually show up to an event like this. denverstiffs.com

February 25, 2011 Updates

Carmelo Anthony might be gone, but Nuggets coach George Karl is on the verge of being locked up to a contract extension. Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said after Thursday night's 89-75 win over Boston that negotiations are nearly complete on bringing back Karl for next season. "We're pretty close on that,'' Kroenke said in an interview with FanHouse. "We've been doing that throughout the process and we just had to cut it off at times because we had to focus on Melo.'' FanHouse.com

The Nuggets started negotiations in December on bringing back Karl, who becomes a free agent after the season. There were some delays due to trade talk regarding Anthony, the star forward who was dealt Tuesday to New York. "Hopefully, soon,'' Kroenke said about when a deal on Karl will be announced. "George is somebody we want to keep here and, obviously, you can see him (Thursday), he does a great job with what he has. We'll hopefully get something done. We want George here for a long time.'' FanHouse.com

February 23, 2011 Updates

Anthony asked to be traded to the Knicks or the Chicago Bulls, or the Nuggets would risk losing him without any return in free agency, Josh Kroenke said Tuesday. Leon Rose, Anthony’s agent, and Bay Frazier, Anthony’s friend and business associate, also attended the meeting in Baltimore. “I wouldn’t say I was bum rushed,” Kroenke said. “I was prepared. I knew what was coming at me. I just didn’t know the details of it. I know a lot of people around the N.B.A., so people were kind of giving me a heads-up of what they were thinking.” New York Times

Last summer’s conversation culminated this week with the completion of a three-team, 13-player deal that centered on Anthony. In between were months of starts, stops, rumors and, finally, the trade of one of the game’s best offensive players. “As much as we did try to show him there was a future here, there was never any wooing on our part,” Kroenke said. “Carmelo made it very clear to me personally that it was probably going to be a situation where he wasn’t going to be here next year.” At the meeting, Kroenke informed Anthony — who said the request was made with his family in mind — that a trade to the Knicks would be difficult. But the Bulls would not include Joakim Noah in a deal, and Anthony did not want to sign a contract extension with the Nets despite their tenacious efforts to acquire him. New York Times

February 22, 2011 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.