Western Notes: Kroenke, Lillard, D-League

The National Football League gave its OK to Stan Kroenke’s plan to transfer ownership of the Nuggets to his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, satisfying an NFL rule barring its owners from also owning another pro sports team in an NFL city, report Nathan Fenno and Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. Kroenke’s son Josh, who already serves as Nuggets team president and is the team’s representative on the board of governors, will continue to run the Nuggets and the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche, Fenno and Farmer add. Stan Kroenke owns the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

Here’s more from the West:

  • Damian Lillard, with input from C.J. McCollum, organized a team getaway to San Diego for the Trail Blazers in an effort to draw together all the newcomers from an offseason of upheaval in Portland, writes Anne M. Peterson of The Associated Press. It furthers the notion that Lillard, who signed a five-year max extension this summer, has replaced LaMarcus Aldridge as the team’s central figure, Peterson writes. “It’s still going to take us time to get to know each other. It’s going to take more than a week in San Diego, or getting here early before camp,” Lillard said. “It’s going to take more than that. Being out together in the preseason, we’ll learn more about each other. … I think it’s about the growth, the process.”
  • The Spurs announced via a press release that Patrick Mutombo and A.J. Diggs have been hired as assistant coaches for their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs. “The additions of Patrick and AJ bring a wealth of NBA and player development experience to our team that will serve our group well moving forward,” said coach Ken McDonald.  “We are fortunate to continue to attract strong candidates to join our coaching staff.”
  • The Mavericks‘ rotation at center is unsettled and while it’s not ideal, the team is counting on veteran big man Samuel Dalembert to contribute this season, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes. “Dalembert’s having a solid camp,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday night’s preseason contest against the Nuggets. “He came in a little bit out of shape. He’s working really hard to get himself where he needs to be. I thought his minutes tonight were positive.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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