KUSA- If you looked at Tim Connelly's drivers license you wouldn't think there was any way this baby-faced 36-year-old could be an NBA general manager. Take a look at his resume and references and you may have to rethink any and all of those premonitions.
"Maybe [I'm] young in age, but I feel as if I am almost a young veteran," said the new Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Thursday. Connelly had the privilege to learn under legends of the game like Wes Unseld, Michael Jordan and most recently in New Orleans with Dell Demps.
"I am young and energetic and I am excited to use that energy but I feel I am a veteran of the NBA," he continued.
Over the last 17 years he has been learning the trade from the bottom-up. What little experience he had playing the game of basketball he made up for in his ability to do whatever was needed of him elsewhere, while still being around the game. Connelly spent time as assistant general manager (the past three seasons in New Orleans), scout, director of player personnel (in Washington for the Wizards), and even as paperboy.
"I have done pretty much everything from delivering the mail to making trades and everything in between. All of those countless experiences have prepared me for this challenge. It is a challenge and an exciting challenge," asserted Connelly.
He's wise beyond his years, understanding the ways of the NBA front office, yet Connelly is also fully aware of the team he is inheriting. Denver set a new franchise record for wins, made it to the playoffs for the tenth consecutive year and will return most of the pieces that were a part of it.
Connelly's youthful exuberance and ambition will play well with President Josh Kroenke and his ultimate endeavors to win an NBA Championship. His knowledge gained in the nearly two decades of meetings, conversations and studying basketball players, and simply understanding that tweaking the roster rather than revamping it entirely will get the Nuggets to where they want to be.
"It is rare where you get jobs like this with a roster with this much talent," Connelly admitted. "This is a 57-win team, and again, it is about growing on that. The foundation is there; I think we just have to build off that firm foundation."
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)