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Denver Nuggets, NBA give the WWE a Stunner

Posted by GM/VP of Fan Operations on Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There’s no real way of this working out well for Stan Kroenke, and Vincent Kennedy McMahon is doing everything he can to make sure of it. McMahon:

Even though the Denver Nuggets had a strong team this year and were projected to make the playoffs, obviously Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke did not have enough faith in his own team to hold the May 25th date for a potential playoff game.

On August 15, 2008 World Wrestling Entertainment secured the rights to Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center for a live telecast of Monday Night Raw on May 25, 2009. That reservation is now in jeopardy as the NBA scheduled Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on the same night, in the same building.

How can the Denver Nuggets Public Relations staff possibly fix this? I’m sure if Denver wins most Nuggets fans won’t care, but what does this do to Kroenke’s image? Most fans prefer to believe their owner has a vested interest in the team’s success and the WWE is now working overtime to make Kroenke look just the opposite.

The most surprising part of this story is that the contract between the WWE and the Pepsi Center wasn’t finalized until April 15, the last day of the NBA regular season, the same day the Nuggets secured the second seed in the Western Conference. As owner of the Nuggets and the Pepsi Center, wouldn’t Stan Kroenke think to reserve the arena for his team in case of a playoff game or at least put some sort of opt-out provision in the contract for this situation?

Surely Kroenke didn’t lack faith in his team and assume they wouldn’t make it to the conference finals (I hope), but this clumsy management speaks volumes about the organization and could be a problem for the Pepsi Center to secure outside events for years to come.

Or you could just as easily argue that the NBA is, again, doing a poor job and should revamp this round’s schedule. In either case make sure to check-out the clip above of Vinny Mac being interviewed by his former employee, Jonathan Coachman, on yesterday’s ESPNews. It’s pretty entertaining.


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