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Josh Kroenke corroborates Denver Nuggets' mishandling of Ty Lawson

Kalen Deremo Avatar
July 23, 2015


Several days ago I detailed the Denver Nuggets’ botched handling of Ty Lawson in a diatribe which you can find here. The general thesis of my argument was that the Nuggets overvalued Lawson from the get-go and waited entirely too long to trade him. Though we’ve known Lawson has had intense off-court trouble for roughly the last six month, according to Nuggets’ president Josh Kroenke, the team has actually been aware of Lawson’s personal issues for years… yes, years.

Per Yahoo!Sports.com:

Kroenke told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday in a phone interview that the Nuggets had been privately trying to help Lawson with his issues for “the past couple of years” and that there had been problems for a long time.

Kroenke said he had repeated conversations with Lawson about his “life struggles,” adding that Lawson often said he would attempt to fix his issues but he could “never fully shake them.”

“He always had an affinity for burning the candle at both ends,” Kroenke said. “We want to give our players freedom to be young guys as well. We’re not going to be drill sergeants. But we want our guys to be able to handle their personal lives on their own.

“Ty … there were times when he was better than others. But the problems have been there for several years, going back to when we were having a lot of on-court success. I don’t want to go back too far. There were just a lot of times where you were at practice and you just know. You could smell it. You know there is probably deeper issues than he would probably let on.”

Kroenke reached a breaking point with Lawson when the guard skipped the Nuggets’ first practice after the NBA All-Star break in February after spending time in Las Vegas. Kroenke said he hadn’t talked to Lawson much since then, but continued to support him. Most of Lawson’s front office communication since the All-Star Break had been with Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly. “I love Ty and will always love Ty, but once I saw him going down this dark path, we knew that we probably were going to end up in a situation where we were dumping him,” Kroenke said. “It creates a weird dynamic.”

Unfortunately Kroenke’s statements above do nothing but solidify the notion that the Nuggets were well aware of Lawson’s habits — for years, nonetheless — yet neglected to intervene, rendering the package they fetched from Houston in return for Lawson nothing more than a parcel they themselves helped create.

As we move on from the Ty Lawson fiasco to cover bigger and better things it’s important to view this incident for exactly what it was: failure as the result of enablement.

Let’s hope the Nuggets are now better prepared in the case of similar instances down the road.


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