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Calvin Booth, Denver Nuggets General Manager

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2024 3:41 pm

Calvin Booth, Denver Nuggets General Manager

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 3, 2024 3:41 pm

Denver Nuggets General Manager joins Zach Gelb

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Visit Carvana.com or download the app and sell your car from your comfy place. All right, it is the Infinity Sports Network. We open up the show talking about the New York Knicks being back as they will advance the second round of the playoffs and they'll go up against the Indiana Pacers. We're also getting set for another second round series. Denver is looking to go back to back as NBA champions and what a matchup this is going to be. A lot of big names in this series, starting with the Koliokic, you have Jamal Murray on the other side, Anthony Edwards has turned into one of the better players in the league.

It is the Timberwolves and it is the Nuggets and it gets underway tomorrow evening. And now joining us is the defending champion, general manager of the Denver Nuggets, and that is Calvin Booth. Kind enough to join us once again on the Zach Gelb show. Calvin, always appreciate the time. Thanks so much for doing this and how you been? I've been good. Thanks for having me on, Zach.

I appreciate you coming on. Let me start you off with Jamal Murray. We've talked a lot throughout the years about the type of player that he could be and you know the moments that he's had. But to see what he was able to do, clutch shot after clutch shot up against the Lakers, just what comes to mind for you when you reflect on what Murray was able to do in round one? I mean, it just always comes down to his mental toughness, his desire to make plays under pressure, and I think he just keeps on rising and getting better throughout the year.

So there's never a time he's really disappointed in that kind of scenario. Do you think he gets the proper respect? Because I feel like he's disrespected, the fact that everyone knows how good he is and the guy still hasn't been an All-Star in the NBA so far. Absolutely not. I feel like, you know, obviously I'm speaking selfishly, but I think we have the best point guard in the league, and so for him not to be an All-Star is just like, it's laughable. But you know, it is what it is. The way the system is set up right now, you put almost double weight into the regular season with All-Star and then NBA being voted for after a regular season.

So, I mean, maybe it's something as a league we should look at. And then let me get to, obviously, your best player in Nikola Jokic. We all know what he's been able to do as the general manager of the Nuggets, Calvin Booth, is here with us. Does anything surprise you anymore with Joker? Because I'm running out of ways to describe him, because each and every night I watch him, I just walk away saying, wow, wow, wow. Yeah, I think we just get used to seeing the extraordinary with him, and hopefully we never get too used to it because it's just something that's amazing to watch at night in and night out. And he continues to raise levels every year in every series. You know, it's amazing to me, and I don't think this is the majority, but some say, oh, well, it's boring to watch Nikola Jokic. Like, I'm sure you've heard that. I'm not saying it to be clear, you know that. But it's amazing to me how some people still try to take some jabs and still try to slight your big fella.

Yeah, I mean, maybe it's a matter of preference. I know some people like to see the offline act, but there's also a segment of people that like to see really smart basketball and great passing and decision-making and somebody who can use their mind to get things done on the court. You've been around this game for a long time, for many different parts and many different roles in this game. I'm just wondering, as someone that is a basketball lifer like yourself, when you have someone that's on his way to being one of the greatest players ever, already a two-time MVP, probably going to be a three-time after this year, we know he's already won one championship, he has a finals MVP, what are you able to learn when you watch Nikola Jokic play? I just think how much the mental part of the game matters, the preparation you put into it matters, because the level he plays at and the efficiency level that's accomplished at every game, it takes the skill and the athleticism and the body and the mind. Talking to Calvin Booth right now, the general manager of the Denver Nuggets, Denver gets set for the second round of the postseason going up against Minnesota tomorrow. Calvin, why has your team not had any complacency? Sometimes a team gets over the mountain, over the hump, they win a championship and they don't come back as strong the following season.

Right now, most people are picking you to repeat as champions, so why has this team not taken a step back at all? I think the leadership, Coach Malone, and I believe the starting lineup, Noel Cola obviously being the leader of that, I think Nicole has said in a recent press conference, winning has become a lifestyle for this team and I think they expect to win and they want to keep doing it, so hopefully we're able to get there again. Let me ask you about Michael Porter Jr. Clearly a lot out of his control is going on off the court with his family. He didn't miss a beat though on the court. What does that kind of say about his mental toughness? I know what's going on off the court has nothing to really do with him doing anything wrong, but it's still his family and from a human emotion side you wonder if that was going to impact his game at all and it hasn't looked like it has. No, he's been fantastic and we wouldn't be out of this series without him. Stepped up time after time, made a big shot, rebounded the ball at a really high level and I just think his mental toughness and the fact that he has a lot of pride in his performance and I don't think he was necessarily thrilled with the way last year ended from an individual standpoint, efficiency wise.

Of course he was very happy for us to win a championship, but I think he thought he could play a lot better and he has this playoffs. Talking to Calvin Booth right now, I know this is the nature of the sport when you've been involved in it this long. There's so many relationships and you go up against people that you know very well. You were in the Minnesota organization, obviously you being in Denver, you have a close relationship with Tim Connolly who's now running the Timberwolves. Is it at all bizarre when you get set to go up against them just with some of the personal relationships on both sides of it?

I think it's normalized. I think last year was definitely a little bit different, but I think this year both teams are focused on trying to get to the next round and we've kind of gotten accustomed to the new setup here. Obviously after whoever wins the series and the series concludes, everybody will go back to having the relationships they had before the series, but I think you're going to see two teams that are really wanting to compete at a high level and both teams that want to make the Western Conference Finals.

Hopefully it's spirited and competitive. I know it's only a second round series. You talk about the Western Conference Finals. This has a Western Conference Finals feel to it.

Do you agree with that, just wondering? I think by the nature of us being the returning champions and the season Minnesota had, I think that's why you're going to have that feel. Last year when we played Phoenix it was almost the same kind of feeling because both teams were way up there and there are chances to win the title and we were able to prevail and we went on to win it. I think the West is just so tough that it's going to be like that.

I think next round, whether it's the Clippers or Dallas that advance, on the other side of the bracket rather, I think it's going to have the same feeling between those two teams and Oklahoma City. When you have the respect you have for the game and you get ready for this matchup, when you look at Anthony Edwards and his stardom has taken a big step this year, people are saying he could be a future face of the league. What are you seeing out of Anthony Edwards right now? I think his explosiveness athletically and also explosiveness and his ability to score 25 points in 8 minutes. I think that's what's terrifying with him as a player. We've seen those moments playing against him over the last few years. Hopefully we have the defenders in the game plan to limit those moments but it can happen anytime. I want to ask you this because the last few days people are talking about who's the next face of the NBA.

Some people have thrown Anthony Edwards into that conversation. You have the best player in Nikola Jokic. Do you feel like the player you have in Nikola Jokic, he's the next face of the NBA with guys like Durant and KD and Steph Curry get a little bit up there in age? Yeah, I don't think it's really for us to decide as an organization or as an individual. I think the league and the fans somehow come to that conclusion. All I hope we do is keep on having success as an organization and winning games and winning NBA championships.

Hopefully Nikola and everybody else on our team gets that claim too. What was this offseason like for you? After you won the championship and then you got to retool and reload, what was this offseason like for you personally, Calvin?

It was business as usual. We came off the parade. The draft was a couple days later. Then you have to make roster moves. You want to try to retain Bruce if possible. He had a great opportunity financially with Indiana that he couldn't pass up. We had to try to fill out the roster from there. Just getting the team ready, seeing how prepared they're going to be to enter the season considering how fatigued they were after the end of a long season. That was what we're anticipating.

I think the season went better than expected from that standpoint. Calvin, always appreciate your time. Thanks so much for doing this and good luck coming up here in the second round of the playoffs.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-03 18:02:27 / 2024-05-03 18:07:44 / 5

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