|05-09-2006, 01:37 AM||#1|
Go Broncos, Nuggets, Rox
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Back In The 303!
Nuggets: Kroenke Answers Questions About Kiki
Got this in my e-mail:
Following the announcement by Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke on May 5 that General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe's contract would not be extended, Mr. Kroenke fielded questions via email from the media regarding the move. Below are his answers to their questions.
Q: What was the reason for this decision?
A: We felt it was in the best interest of the franchise and Kiki to make a change. Making changes to the front office are very difficult but necessary at times to create a dynamic atmosphere that will drive you towards your ultimate goal. Our goal remains the same. To build a team that consistently competes each year at the highest levels.
Q: Timing of the decision. Why now?
A: We felt it was the right time now for two reasons. First, it allows us time to put people in place as we near an important summer that will allow us to improve our team. Second, it gives Kiki a chance to move on earlier than he would have if the talks had been later in the summer. Prolonging a decision would have been unfair to both the organization and to Kiki. We must begin exploring options regarding free agency and the upcoming draft, and Kiki needs reasonable to time to address his future and explore opportunities that are presented to him.
Q: Primary reasons he was not returning?
A: Kiki and I met, and we agreed that it was time for us to move in a different direction. We believe it's in the best interest of both parties.
Q: Is there an Interim GM?
A: No, we have not named an interim general manager. We have a team of individuals in place that can handle our basketball decisions in the short term as we look to take our next step. We currently have more than a combined 80 years of basketball experience in our front office - not to mention a veteran coaching staff - that will help us through this transition.
Q: Who are the candidates?
A: The process for identifying the right leaders to bring us to our goal has begun and as soon as we finalize the personnel, announcements will be made. We are looking extensively at several candidates – internally and throughout the league – and will assemble a front office that gives us the best chance of moving forward and winning an NBA championship.
Q: How much was this situation an elephant in the room this year? Did the lack of a firm resolution contribute to any discord in the locker room or have any other kind of trickle-down effect?
SK: Games are won by players out on the court being coached by coaches. The contract status of the general manager does not impact things on the court or in the locker room.
Everyone in sports understands that this is a business and that there are no guarantees.
We don't think that this was a big distraction because it was never addressed internally until the end of our season. We've said all along that we would honor Kiki's contract and evaluate his status at the conclusion of his five-year term. Everyone in our organization - from players, coaches and management - is a professional who comes to work every day committed to winning and creating a culture of winning.
Q: Is Bret Bearup a candidate for the job? What role has he played in this team's decision-making, and what do you expect it to be in the future?
SK: Bret has been a close friend of mine for many years. I have kicked out ideas with Bret for years, long before I bought the Nuggets.
As far as basketball, Bret is viewed as a respected voice in many basketball circles. Naturally, given his background, we are interested in his opinion. And frankly, his opinions have benefited everyone in the Nuggets organization over the years.
But as to whether we are looking at him as a candidate for a front-office position, Bret is not a candidate - nor has he ever sought a position within the Nuggets organization.
Q: When and why did your relationship with Vandeweghe deteriorate?
SK: This was purely a business decision, not a personal issue. As the owner of the Denver Nuggets, it is my job to put the best possible front-office staff in place to get us to our goal. With that goal in mind, we felt it was time for a change.
Q: Nene said that because of Vandeweghe's strong relationship with his agent, Dan Fegan, this move might affect his decision to re-sign. He wants to see who the new GM is. Carmelo Anthony has repeatedly backed Vandeweghe. Are you concerned about any backlash from the players?
SK: Our players are professionals and they understand that difficult decisions must be made, and at times those decisions result in change. Every member of the Nuggets shares our desire to build a team that will consistently compete at the highest levels.
Q: Will you hire a new GM or do the job by committee?
SK: We will explore basketball operations structures that will give us the best opportunity to produce results on the court. That research has been, and continues to be, completed and decisions will be made in the future. We are not concerned right now about job titles. As an organization the only titles we are concerned with are division, conference and NBA championships.
Q: What did you think about the situation with Kenyon Martin, and do you need to trade him?
SK: As with all player personnel decisions, they are discussed internally in our front office and decisions are made that will provide us results on the court. As has always been our policy, we do not think it is fair to the players to discuss personnel issues publicly. It can lead to dissension on and off the court.
Q: What did you say to Vandeweghe in your final conversation?
SK: We don't disclose information of a private nature in our businesses. Suffice it to say, Kiki and I had a very cordial meeting and are parting ways on amicable terms.
Q: What were the positives and negatives of Vandeweghe's tenure with the Nuggets?
SK: Rather than get into specifics over a long period of time, it is fair to say we completed an internal evaluation of where we were and where we wanted to be and made a change. We as an organization have made strides on the court. We don't believe in pointing fingers or singling out people. We win and lose as a team. And not one individual deserves all the credit or the blame.
|05-09-2006, 02:01 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
I always love the "new direction" sidestep. It's like Stalin during a purge..."I felt we had to go in a new direction...his direction was to the labor camp"
|05-09-2006, 06:07 AM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
That interview is "exhibit A" for why sports interviews suck.
It was 4 minutes of nothing.
|05-09-2006, 10:00 AM||#5|
Requisite Nugs Die-Hard
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
I'm really starting to dislike Kroenke.
|05-09-2006, 10:27 AM||#6|
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Folsom Prison
I never liked him.
But what's the take in Den. Better off w/o Kiki and letting Karl have more control, or as much as Kronke deligates, or better off with Kiki?