A brand-new mailbag column from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post has reminded us of an issue that hit our radar screen earlier this month but never became a blip on the pages of PFT.
Kiszla wonders whether Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke “now loves the St. Louis Rams and the Arsenal soccer club more than us.” Kroenke’s love for Colorado shouldn’t be an issue, given that Kroenke supposedly was required to abandon his interest in the NBA and NHL teams located in Denver once he acquired controlling interest of the NFL team based in St. Louis.
So, basically, there’s nothing Kroenke can do about the Nuggets or the Avs, regardless of his feelings for Denver.
That said, Kroenke’s name has been linked at times to trade talks involving Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony. The New York Daily News reported on February 8 that Knicks owner James Dolan “has had direct negotiations” with Stan Kroenke regarding a possible trade for Anthony.
Under the league’s cross-ownership rules, which prohibit an NFL majority owner from owning sports franchises in other U.S. cities where NFL teams are located, that shouldn’t be happening. Kroenke’s ability to buy the Rams hinged on his willingness to relinquish the reins to his Denver-based teams. If the Daily News report is accurate, Kroenke could be in violation of the rule that allowed him to buy the Rams.
Of course, the league brought this thorny enforcement challenge on itself by allowing a would-be NFL owner to skirt the cross-ownership rules merely by transferring the basketball and hockey teams to family members. The better course of action would be to simply dump the cross-ownership rule, if the league is going to allow it to be applied under circumstances where its letter or spirit can easily be violated.
Given that the issue is arising at a time when the league is desperately trying to maintain a united front among its owners for labor purposes, look for the reaction to be nothing more than a courtesy call to Kroenke reminding him that he can’t be doing anything that would suggest he’s still running the Nuggets or the Avalanche, regardless of whether he actually is.