NUGGETS

104.3 Exclusive: Ex-Nuggets boss Tim Connelly comments on departure

Jul 28, 2022, 3:08 PM
Tim Connelly...
Photo by Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Earlier this summer, the Denver Nuggets lost their President of Basketball Operations as Tim Connelly bolted for a more lucrative role in Minnesota.

Connelly led the Nuggets as far as they’ve ever gone in 50 years of NBA hoops—a conference final. Connelly oversaw many changes in Denver over his nearly decade running this—ushering in a golden era of hoops around Nikola Jokic.

But Connelly has yet to move to the Twin Cities, despite changing jobs. So Connelly was invited to Denver Broncos Training Camp by General Manager George Paton and head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and he figured it was better to come out with his kids than keep packing boxes. At UC Health Training Center, Connelly caught up with Brandon Stokley and Zach Bye during their 104.3 The Fan midday show.

“It’s super hard to leave such a great organization,” Connelly told the show. “Unreal coaches, unreal players, and unreal ownership. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. It’s bittersweet, but I’m excited about a new opportunity. Everyone in Denver is super cool and amazing.”

Connelly and the Nuggets have already moved in separate paths. As Connelly’s old understudy and Denver’s GM, Calvin Booth has made moves this summer that Connelly probably wouldn’t have. Meanwhile, Connelly shook up the entire NBA when he traded Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler (No. 22 pick in 2022 Draft), Jarred Vanderbilt. 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, 2027 first-round pick, and a 2029 first-round pick for All-Star Rudy Gobert.

“The basketball is the basketball. That part’s been fun. It’s been exciting meeting new faces,” Connelly said. “Calvin is brilliant, (Michael) Malone is a big-time coach, seeing them lock up Nikola, it’s awesome. For me, it’s just a different view of the same chess board. It’s been a blast.”

Connelly did say Denver will always hold a special place for him.

“78 games a year, I’m rooting for those guys; the other four, it’s us,” he said. “The Nuggets are the best, they’re family, and you guys (the Denver media) have been super cool. And you know, my number still works.”

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104.3 Exclusive: Ex-Nuggets boss Tim Connelly comments on departure