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Monday, 15 July 2019 14:49

Chucks Blog Vol XVI: Demons only as good as their owner?

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Chuck checking in is deliverd to you by Chuck Tankman, Denver Demons insider. The 63 year old Denver native is writing this column for a single purpose: telling the truth about the Demons and consequently chasing GM Klaus von Meyerinck out of office.



Fact check:

Denver Demons owner James Anderson (57) has cut the franchises budget yet another time, this time around 7 million to a new budget of 85,6 million $.

Demons GM Klaus von Meyerinck reacted by trading apart the team that made it to the OBWL finals in 2024 and suffered a first round sweep in the 2025 playoffs.

KvM traded star SG Dennis Goodrum to the South Florida Sharks in return for C John Haas (24) and the 2025 draft pick #11 which he turned into SF Carroll Lerch.

The same day the Demons traded star PF Charles Cazares and long term PG Larry Burt to the Kansas City Pioneers for SG Nelson Jones, PG Abe Gutierrez, C Chris Hauck and PF Andrew Sutton, all of which are or could be on expiring contracts.

The Demons positioned themselves to a 32 million $ payroll for the 2026 free agency if they choose to decline team options for Jamel Tomlin, Abe Gutierrez and Andrew Sutton.

In the upcoming free agency however the team has just a MLE to work with.

On court the Demons certainly called quits the title race and according to league experts first analysis they have dropped out of the playoff race as well. The teams sole remaining star now is Greg Fore, Denver's best player ever and the face of the franchise.


Chuck's column

In Denver we had a mantra for years: A sports town is only as good as its GM. And that mantra was frightening. But maybe we were wrong. Maybe a sports town is only as good as its owners.

Has our city grown or regressed in that area?

The Demons are owned by the billionaire James Anderson who is proud of his british heritage. A self-made sort who is aggressive, passionate, a former athlete and rich enough to buy his own Mediterranean island.

Some would say he's of scottish heritage, but it has been an open secret inside the Demons organisation for weeks that Anderson was deeply displeased and angry about his GM sinking more than 17 million $ into luxury taxation.

The wrath of the owner hit KvM in full stride.

Only two things could have prevented this. Option one: the Heikkinen Cup. Option two: a GM with deep roots in the organisation, with some empathy and self-awareness simply knowing that his owner was frustrated and angry.

Of course neither option was going to happen.

Instead Anderson came down hard and heavy. He cut into the budget and by that sent a message to his deranged GM: stop dreaming about adding another star to the team, stop dreaming about another title run which probably would have been as misguided as last years fruitless attempt where a terrible trade for Charles Ottinger killed whatever the Demons might have had going for them early on.

At least we have to give KvM some small credit: Somehow he must have realized that it was game over.

The GM reacted rather quickly, he traded Daniel Goodrum and he even traded his man Charles Cazares who has been one of the few guys in Denver never to be harassed by the GM. Instead KvM threw tons of money after Cazares two years ago.

It's a sad irony for the fat german GM: He now had to seek a trade partner and desperate and without even one option elswhere he had to trade Cazares for expiring spare parts to the Pioneers of all teams.

It has been a masterful move by Pioneers GM Ben Johnson.

Johnson was the one GM driving up the Demons' offer for Cazares in free agency with his own max offer. In the end KvM and the Demons fell pray to the masterminds strategy: Denver overpaid Cazares by such a margin that it simply had to trade him now and Johnson cashed in on his strategy two years later.

And since trading Cazares alone did not help financially but hurt on court badly it was only of some unknown consequence and logif by KvM to trade Goodrum and Burt along.

That's that.

The big question however remains: Where do the Demons stand now? And where are they headed?

And here we go again.

Maybe a sports town is only as good as it's GMs.

Greg Fore is a superstar in his own right. Gino Rodriguez is a foul troubled C with some upside, Andrew Sutton maybe a solid PF. Guards like Jamel Tomlin, Nelson Jones, Abe Gutierrez and Michael Spriggs are young, somewhat promising but neither seems to be a sure answer at either SG or PG.

Will that be enough for a playoff run?

Will that be too much for a season of tanking?

Maybe the Demons are in the worst position of all.

Not good enough to make it to post season, even with young promising rookie SF/SG Carroll Lerch.

Not bad enough for a top 5 lottery pick and a real an true rebuild.

FA is up next and it will be interesting in one regard.

Denver can only operate with a MLE, and how and if it will use it's exception may be telling a lot.

Not using it may be a hint towards tanking and capitalizing on the Demons first rounder next year.

Using it may be a either a step towards rebuild now but it will come at the cost of next years cap space.

Looks like James Anderson has maneuvered his GM in a tough spot. And certainly KvM seems not be the smart GM to counter the move. Maybe it's just the owners sweet revenge for years of crazyness.

But in the end it's us Demons fans paying the price. The price for an owner who may not be good enough for this sports town. And the price for a GM who sure as hell isn't good enough for any sports town in the universe.


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