Josh Kroenke on George Karl's departure: 'I'm not here to win awards, I'm here to win banners'

USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke addressed the media regarding his recent decisions to part ways with head coach George Karl and GM Masai Ujiri, and he had some interesting things to say about the plan for the summer.

The Denver Nuggets raised more than a few eyebrows around the league when they decided to dismiss NBA Coach of the Year George Karl and allow NBA Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri to join the Toronto Raptors in the wake of a franchise-best 57-25 season. Team president Josh Kroenke spoke about those decisions at a press conference on Friday, and he still insists the franchise is all about raising banners and winning championships (via Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post):

For more George Karl's departure, visit: Denver Stiffs

The Nuggets emerged as a surprise contender in the 2012-13 season, but they were forced to battle through injuries to Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari and were ultimately eliminated in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs by the Golden State Warriors. George Karl hasn't coached a team to a sub-.500 record since the 1987-88 season, but Kroenke owned the call to cut him loose, saying: "it was my decision, and a very tough one to make."

He was a little bit more evasive when asked about Ujiri's departure. In essence, he made an effort to paint the former GM as unwilling to even consider an offer from the Nuggets, which flies in the face of a previous report claiming a "market-value" extension could have kept him in Denver.

Nobody knows what's next for the Nuggets. When asked whether a coach or a GM will be hired first, Kroenke said "both situations are fluid." Andre Iguodala can opt out of his contract this summer, Corey Brewer is set to hit the free agent market and Gallinari needs time to rehab from an ACL tear. If Kroenke isn't careful with his next moves, the Nuggets may not be winning awards or banners any time soon.

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