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Kroenke says losing Ujiri, Karl was difficult

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm •  Published: June 7, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — Denver Nuggets President Josh Kroenke said Friday that it was hard to let both the NBA's executive of the year and its coach of the year get away following a franchise record 57-win season, "but I'm not here to win awards, I'm here to win banners."

Kroenke said he wasn't going to stand in the way of Masai Ujiri leaving for his dream job as GM of the Toronto Raptors last week and he couldn't stomach watching George Karl serve as a lame duck next season, so he fired him Thursday.

Karl had one year left on his contract with a three-year team option and he sought to parlay his Coach of the Year award and the best regular season in franchise history into a long-term extension, something Kroenke wasn't prepared to do.