September 2, 2020
Left: Ann Walton Kroenke and Josh Kroenke. Right, Stan
In the wake of the Nuggets'
stirring comeback from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Jazz in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Avalanche has a chance to
pull off the same thing against the Stars in the NHL's Western Conference semifinals.
The Avs, also down 3-1 and facing
a murky goaltending situation after being forced to rely on journeyman knockabout Michael Hutchinson in the net, beat the
Stars 6-3 Monday and 4-1 Wednesday to stave off elimination.
Game 7 -- reminiscent of back-to-back Game 7s between the same teams in the 1999 and
2000 Western Conference finals -- is Friday.
By the way, because of the weird perception created by the different timetables, the
Nuggets now have only duplicated the Avalanche's advancement into the conference semifinals, not surpassed it.
Time for credit where
credit is due.
What has been overlooked or at least underplayed is this fact:
Among the ownerships with both NHL and
NBA teams in their portfolios, only one still has a team in both leagues' playoffs.
And, at least officially, the principal
owner involved is not Stan Kroenke.
Rather, it's Ann Walton Kroenke, the wife of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment's owner
and chairman; and mother of Josh Kroenke, president of both teams.
Mainly because of NFL cross-ownership rules, the
Nuggets and Avalanche are in a revocable trust and Ann Walton Kroenke heads it.
The reality, though, is the Nuggets,
Avalanche and Pepsi Center, are part of a KSE empire that also includes the Los Angeles Rams and the new SoFi Stadium; MLS's
Colorado Rapids; indoor lacrosse's Colorado Mammoth; and Arsenal FC in the English Premier League.
Looking at it another
way, seven of the 14 markets with both NHL and NBA teams have at least one team still alive in either leagues' playoffs. So
Denver has more company there.
Last year, a similar scenario played out, with both the Nuggets and Avalanche winning one series
and advancing to the conference semifinals, where the Nuggets lost to Portland and the Avalanche was eliminated by the Sharks.
The excitement is a bit diminished now because of the bubble conditions, making them studio productions. It's quite different
than the alternating-night home games in the Pepsi Center in the spring of 2019. But in its own way, because of our thirst
for diversional pursuits, it's as energizing.
Using geographic flexibility (e.g., considering the Warriors and Sharks both in the San Francisco Bay area), below
is a look at the 14 markets with both NHL and NBA franchises.
Franchises still alive in the playoffs are in red.
First, the four markets with common ownership of NHL and NBA franchises:
DENVER (Principal owner of both:
Ann Walton Kroenke
Avalanche -- Tied 3-3 with Stars 3-2 in Western Conference
-- Will face Clippers in Western Conference semifinals
TORONTO (Principal owner of both: Larry Tannenbaum)
Maple Leafs -- Lost to
Blue Jackets in play-in round
Raptors -- Trail Celtics 2-0 in Eastern Conference semifinals
WASHINGTON (Principal owner of both: Ted Leonsis.)
Capitals -- Lost to Islanders in first round
Wizards -- Did not advance to
NEW YORK (Principal owner of Rangers and Knicks: James Dolan)
-- Lead Flyers 3-2 in Eastern Conference semifinals
Rangers -- Lost to Hurricanes in play-in round
Devils -- Did not advance
to Toronto bubble
Nets -- Lost to Raptors in first round
Knicks -- Did not advance to Orlando bubble
here are the other 10 markets with both NHL and NBA franchises -- but with separate ownerships:
Bruins -- Lost to Lightning in Eastern Conference semifinals.
-- Lead Raptors 2-0 in Eastern Conference semifinals.
Blackhawks -- Lost to Golden Knights in Western Conference first round.
Bulls -- Did not advance
to Orlando bubble
Stars -- Tied with Avalanche 3-3 in Western Conference semifinals
Mavericks -- Lost
to Clippers in Western Conference first round
-- Did not advance to Toronto bubble
Pistons -- Did not advance to Orlando bubble
Kings -- Did not advance
to Edmonton bubble
Ducks -- Did not advance to Edmonton bubble
Lakers -- Will face Rockets in Western
-- Will face Nuggets in Western Conference semifinals
Panthers -- Lost to Islanders in play-in round
Heat -- Trail Bucks 2-0 in Eastern Conference semifinals
Wild -- Lost to Canucks in play-in round
Timberwolves -- Did not advance to Orlando bubble
Flyers -- Trail Islanders 3-2 in Eastern Conference semifinals
76ers -- Lost to Celtics in first round
Coyotes -- Lost to Avalanche in first
Suns -- Did not avance to playoffs
SF BAY AREA
Sharks -- Did not advance to Edmonton bubble
Warriors -- Did not advance to Orlando