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Denver Nuggets will not be sold, it's all in the family

Jun 8, 2010, 9:05 AM EDT

nuggets-logo1.jpgStan Kroenke has purchased 40 percent of the St. Louis Rams and is in the process of trying to buy the rest. Which is good for the Rams because Kroenke is considered one of the best owners in sports, he already has the Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.

Except, the NFL has a silly rule saying if you own an NFL team you can’t own a team in another professional sport. Why? Who knows? Doesn’t matter. They are the NFL, they are the 800-pound gorilla, they can make whatever rules they want.

They also bend or just flat out ignore those rules sometimes. Why? Because they are the damn NFL, that’s why. Stop asking. Anyway, they did it for Wayne Huizenga. And now it appears they will do so for Kroenke. Sort of.

Kroenke told the Denver Post he is transferring ownership of the Nuggets — at least some, maybe all — to his son, Josh, age 30. He already works in the Nuggets front office so this should all be pretty seamless.

“Our son Josh has been involved with many of our organizations for several years and that family continuity remains a priority,” Kroenke said in a statement to The Denver Post. “My family looks forward to owning the Rams, Nuggets and Avalanche for years to come while being compliant with all stipulations set by the NFL. Our family remains committed to fans in St. Louis and Denver.”

The NBA Board of Governors has to rubber stamp this, but that’s all it is. David Stern gave his blessing.

“I know (Josh), I know the family — very smart business and basketball family,” Stern said. “I know he’s deeply involved in the basketball side of the (Nuggets’) operations. I know he also worked (an internship) at the NBA and worked in a number of departments, seeing what the business of basketball is about.”

  1. ARNIE - Jun 8, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Special Features Send this link to a friend View Participant’s Press Room Page
    David Stern Told S.I. Legalized Gambling on the NBA May Be a Huge Opportunity Boynton Beach, FL Saturday, April 17, 2010
    In May 1996, Horace Balmer, the NBA’s vice president for security, had two speakers flown to Norfolk, Va., whose messages were even very disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler. Franzere said, “I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it’s amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I’m not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them” “I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.’ ( THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT -May 11, 1996 )
    Ten years ago, as a compulsive-gamblers counselor, I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Association office in Manhattan and met with league officials, players and union officials, concerned about players’ gambling. I was told, “We have a problem, and we’re trying to find out how bad the problem is” Officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year and said to me that they wanted me to address every team and player in the league. They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting they asked us develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer. “We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A,”
    When I hadn’t heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, “When do we start?” The talked were cancelled, and the response I got was this: “They said that the higher-ups didn’t want the media to find out”
    Some years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the week’s grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event”
    Yet on Dec. 11, 2009, commissioner David Stern told SI.com (the website for Sports Illustrated) that legalized gambling on the NBA “May be a huge opportunity”
    I wonder how many addicted gamblers placed the first bet they ever made on an NBA game.
    The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are “5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in the U.S” Forty-eight percent of the people who gamble bet on sports.
    Get the real scoop: Talk to me, Arnie Wexler, one of the nation’s leading experts on the subject of compulsive gambling and a recovering compulsive gambler. I placed my last bet on April 10, 1968, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for the last 40 years. Through the years, I have spoken to more compulsive gamblers than anyone else in America and has been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers.
    Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs.
    It is time for college and professional sports to outline and execute a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.
    And over the years, I have spoken to many college and professional athletes who had a gambling problem. One NCAA study a few years ago reported: “There is a disturbing trend of gambling among athletes in college” You can’t think that these people will get into the pros and then just stop gambling.
    Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like alcoholism and chemical dependency, and all three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual. Nevertheless, we treat compulsive gambling differently than the other addictions. Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick persons, send them to treatment and get them back to work. Sports looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people and gets barred them from playing in professional sports.
    There are people in various sport’s halls of fame who are convicted drug addicts and alcoholics, yet compulsive gamblers are unable to get into these halls of fame. In fact, as far as professional sports goes, an alcoholic and chemical dependent person can get multiple chances, whereas a gambler cannot. I have been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers for many years.
    If colleges and professional leagues wanted to help the players, they would run real programs that seriously address the issue of gambling and compulsive gambling. Education and early detection can make a difference between life and death for some people who have or will end up with a gambling addiction.
    One sports insider said to me: “Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it’s like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, ‘I’ve got a gambling problem, and I need help.’ ”
    The Wexlers run a national help line for gamblers who want help 888 LAST BET
    Arnie Wexler ( aswexler@aol.com)
    Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates
    Boynton Beach FL
    Office #: 561-200-0165
    Cell#: 954-501-5270
    Arnie Wexler
    Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates
    Boynton Beach, FL
    561-200-0165
    Contact Arnie Wexler
    Ask a question with InterviewNetSM

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