The single biggest reason for the recent success of the Denver Nuggets has not been a player or George Karl. It has been Masai Ujiri.
The VP of Basketball Operations (which really just means general manager, but the Nuggets have a weird hierarchy with strange titles) was considered a rising star in the basketball world when he was hired. This season, he won the NBA Executive of the Year award.
Ujiri comes from a scouting background which is a little different than most front office executives and has apparently given him a leg up in analyzing talent and acquiring a cohesive set of players.
The NBA is a superstars’ league and superstars don’t want to play in Denver. Ujiri has recognized this and expertly assembled a roster of solid players than can compete with the big boys.
There hasn’t been any playoff success, but I point the finger at George Karl there and that’s a whole separate conversation.
The drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony’s exit was a horrible situation for a young GM to be in, but Ujiri pulled off a genius trade that reshaped the Nuggets franchise.
Anyway, the Kroenkes have given Ujiri permission to speak with his former franchise, the Toronto Raptors, about their vacant GM position and it is being reported that Toronto will be offering a very lucrative deal. The details remain hazy, but it sounds like Ujiri could pull in well over $1 million per year, with the Kroenkes not likely to match that kind of figure.
That kind of money not easy to turn down.
At this point, we’re all just waiting on Ujiri to make his decision, but personally, I’d be surprised if the NBA Executive of the Year comes back to Denver.
Ujiri leaving would not resemble most changes in the front office with relatively unknown executives moving on. He is the single most important– and perhaps most talented– person in the Nuggets organization.
Not sure what’s going on here.
Baseball players are a quirky bunch.
Your quick Rockies update aside from cupchecks or sack taps or whatever is happening there: Finished that crucial homestand 5-2, but then started their current road trip 1-3. Went 6-4 in the 10-game NL West stretch. Should really win the next three over the AAA affiliate in Houston.
This video is perfectly titled. I present, “Tim Duncan Realizing He Has Arms”.
Chris Anderson has had a few different looks in his day.
As good as this is, I distinctly remember a perm somewhere along the way even though I couldn’t find any evidence of this either. I’m putting the over/under him just saying “screw it”and going full technicolor face-tat at 2.5 years.
This is the best interview I’ve seen in a long, long time.
I would like to hang out with that young man.
I can’t wait for the 30 for 30 on Gordon Bombay.
Bombay’s willingness to accept eccentric characters like the Bash Brothers and implement unique techniques like the Knuckle Puck have made him a true legend.
And finally, here’s a non-sports link. A worthhile read about the devastation in Oklahoma.
Happy Tuesday everybody. See ya next week.
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