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September 2, 2020


 Left: Ann Walton Kroenke and Josh Kroenke. Right, Stan Kroenke. 




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 semifinals

Nuggets -- 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 playoffs


NEW YORK (Principal owner of Rangers and Knicks: James Dolan)

Islanders -- 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


And then, here are the other 10 markets with both NHL and NBA franchises -- but with separate ownerships:  



Bruins -- Lost to Lightning in Eastern Conference semifinals. 

Celtics -- 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              


Red Wings -- Did not advance to Toronto bubble

Pistons -- Did not advance to Orlando bubble 


LOS ANGELES                      

Kings -- Did not advance to Edmonton bubble

Ducks -- Did not advance to Edmonton bubble

Lakers -- Will face Rockets in Western Conference semifinals

Clippers -- 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 round 

Suns -- Did not avance to playoffs  


SF BAY AREA                          

Sharks -- Did not advance to Edmonton bubble

Warriors -- Did not advance to Orlando bubble