NBA Franchise Notes: Nuggets Becoming A Hot Ticket In Denver
The Nuggets are second in the Western Conference standings, and in Denver, Mike Singer in a front-page piece wrote they are the "hottest sports ticket in town, with 18 sellouts this season, four more than all of last season." The "raucous environment" has made the Nuggets "devastating at Pepsi Center; the Nuggets’ 23-4 home record is tied for the best in the NBA. TV viewership on Altitude Sports & Entertainment is up 93%, which is the "top growth for any market." The Nuggets were a franchise "lacking an identity" when coach Michael Malone arrived in '15. However, shrewd decision-making by the front office has "created a deep roster of young talent that should allow the Nuggets to contend for years to come" (DENVER POST, 2/10).
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: In Memphis, Mark Giannotto wrote the Grizzlies are a "rudderless organization whose dysfunction goes well beyond" GM Chris Wallace, and fans "deserve so much better" than the team's current makeup. They "deserve an owner who doesn’t use his embattled general manager as a human shield." They "deserve a general manager with a vision for how to put this franchise back together, and one who’s empowered to execute it." Right now, the "only real plan this franchise has goes like this: Don’t be one of the worst eight teams in the NBA this year." The Grizzlies "should hire someone completely unaffiliated with this current regime and clean house within their basketball operations department" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 2/10).
WHO'S IN CHARGE? THE ATHLETIC's Bob Young noted the Suns' James Jones "still wears that cumbersome 'interim co-general manager' tag with the team," which has been "operating with a short-handed front office since Ryan McDonough was fired" nine days before the regular season. There is a "sense that co-interim Jones has a plan for the club’s basketball operation and the kind of culture he wants to build." But, so far, Suns Owner Robert Sarver "hasn’t fully committed to the relationship." Nobody "seems to know whether Jones has the autonomy and authority to fill the jobs, or if anybody is even available to fill them at this point in the season." What is clear is that Jones has begun "laying groundwork for the draft and free agency." If he "isn’t the permanent replacement, then the person who does get the job is going to have to start all over with a new plan" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/9).