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News » Stan, don't lose your focus on Nuggets

Stan, don't lose your focus on Nuggets

Stan, don't lose your focus on Nuggets
E. Stanley Kroenke

Arsenal Football Club

Highbury House

75 Drayton Park

London, N5 1BU

Dear Silent Stan,

Not sure where you're at, but I haven't seen any lights on in your Pepsi Center penthouse lately, so I thought I'd take a chance on finding you at your new home away from home.

From what I hear, you might be preoccupied with negotiations to take over teams in the English Premier League and the National Football League. So I thought I'd remind you not to forget one of your older toys, your team in the National Basketball Association, which is closer to a championship than it's ever been and might need a little more help from you to get there.

As I understand it, you increased your stake in Arsenal, the English football club, to nearly 29 percent last month, making you the single largest shareholder. Once you hit 30 percent, you trigger a clause that requires you to make a bid for the whole enchilada.

You've said in the past you didn't plan to take over Arsenal, but there's some kind of boardroom battle going on with a Uzbekistan metals magnate named Alisher Usmanov - sounds like a Tom Clancy novel - and you're beginning to look like the white knight. The club's chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, called you "a model owner," so I'm figuring Arsenal will be your biggest, most expensive toy any time now.

The St. Louis Rams might be No. 2. The St. Louis Business Journal is theorizing that you might exercise your right of first refusal to become majority owner of the Rams as the children of the late Georgia Frontiere try to sell their 60 percent stake.

As the Journal pointed out, the NFL is pretty much the place to be for big-time sports moguls, at least in the States. And you might feel a duty to St. Louis to step in if a buyer emerges who wants to move the club back to California, as has been rumored.

Unfortunately, the NFL has a cross-ownership ban that would require you to dump the Nuggets and Avalanche if you take over the Rams, which makes followers of the Nuggets a little nervous. We remember when the team did its scouting by watching games on TV. We remember when you could become a part-owner just by having lunch with Carl Scheer.

On the bright side, we've seen speculation that the NFL would be so eager to have you as a majority owner that it might waive this ban, which it has never done, just for you.

In the midst of all these high-level negotiations, the Nuggets are coming off their best finish in 24 years. They return most of the key players that went to the NBA's final four last spring. You will again be paying the association's luxury tax, so nobody can doubt your commitment.

The people around you have always said that of all the sports, Basketball is your passion, and that if you had the opportunity to make a move or two to put the Nuggets over the top, you would do it when the time came.

The time might have come. The key to the Nuggets' resurgence last season, Chauncey Billups, turns 33 next month. I don't know how long the championship window will be open with Billups at the helm, but it won't be that long.

The yin to your yang among NBA owners, Mark Cuban, made a slew of moves, bringing back Jason Kidd and adding Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and Tim Thomas in an effort to reverse the outcome of the second-round series in which your guys spanked his guys.

The Spurs added Antonio McDyess, whom you're still paying, and Richard Jefferson in an effort to reverse the outcome of the first-round series in which the Mavericks spanked them.

The Blazers added Andre Miller. The Lakers added Ron Artest and brought back Lamar Odom.

The Nuggets lost Linas Kleiza to Greece and apparently intend to move J.R. Smith into the starting lineup, leaving them without a scorer off the bench. They also don't have a true center or a fourth quality big man in case of injury to Nene, Kenyon Martin or Chris Andersen.

Even though they're over the salary cap, the Nuggets have a trade exception of almost $9 million they can use to address these needs, but it's good only until Nov. 3.

Such a move would be expensive, especially with the tax, but these chances don't come around every year, especially for the Nuggets . While you're frying bigger fish, this might also be your best chance to achieve an older dream.

Meantime, enjoy north London. And watch out for that Guinness. It's much more filling.

Dave Krieger: 303-954-5297 or

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 18, 2009


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