Stan Kroenke had no official involvement in Carmelo trade

With the New York Daily News reporting two weeks ago that Rams owner Stan Kroenke was directly involved in negotiations relating to a possible trade of Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony and with ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard opining on the air Monday in connection with the Carmelo talks that Stan Kroenke is “stubborn,” a distinct impression had been created that Kroenke was calling the shots as to the decision to trade or not to trade Anthony.

So we started poking around the question of whether Kroenke is complying with the terms of his purchase of the Rams, which required him to no longer be involved with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

To little surprise, denials are emanating from Denver of any involvement by Stan Kroenke in the day-to-day running of the basketball business.  To some surprise, we learned that Kroenke still owns the Nuggets, and that the official transfer will occur at some point in the future, pursuant to a timetable to which all parties agreed when Kroenke’s bid to buy the Rams was approved.

While it fairly can be assumed that Josh Kroenke, Stan’s son, seeks out his father’s advice from time to time, we developed the impression that nothing is happening that runs afoul of the arrangements made to permit Kroenke to buy the Rams in a manner that complies with the league’s cross-ownership rules.  It also can fairly be assumed that Stan Kroenke had a keen interest in ensuring that the right deal was done for Anthony, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to suspect that Stan at some point was involved in a discreet conversation or two.

If so, it’s hard to blame him.  The league signed off on a set of circumstances in which the lines easily could be blurred on a no-harm, no-foul basis.  And the league doesn’t seem to be troubled by the situation, at all.