Denver Nuggets fans hear from GM Artūras Karnišovas, sample new Pepsi Center food at Tipoff party

by Alex Labidou Staff Writer

Denver Nuggets season ticket holders and randomly-selected fans got a taste of the upcoming 2019-20 campaign at Pepsi Center. Literally.

With the KSE teaming up with Legends Hospitality food vendors this season, the Nuggets’ home arena will have modern, local and upscale options on the concourse. Fans at Tuesday’s event at RiNo’s EXDO got to sample some of the new cuisines, including artisanal pizza, curry chicken salad and duck confit tartare. They also got to listen to team General Manager Artūras Karnišovas share his thoughts on the upcoming season with Altitude’s Chris Dempsey.

Here’s some of the topics he discussed:

On championship aspirations:

We’re not afraid of expectations. Coach [Michael] Malone and Tim Connelly addressed the media [about it] right from the beginning. Everything is [up] for grabs and this is going to be a huge season. Coming off a historical season for the franchise…Playing in a seven-game series [in the Western Conference semifinals] and almost being a bucket away from the Western Conference Finals. So it was a storied season and we want to build on that.

On avoiding major moves:

We finished with the second-best record in franchise, so it [the roster] is something that works. So we tried to tweak it a little -- obviously, you expect that your young core is going to get better and just add to it. Adding Jerami [Grant] and [Vlatko] Čančar, we thought we had a strong enough roster and [now we have] a long [talented] bench to complement that.

On Michael Porter Jr.

It was amazing to watch him all year long [last season], how focused he was on his recovery….He was really responsive. He worked extremely hard all year long….I think the last three games in preseason, it’s obvious how good of a player he is, if he stays healthy. How long and talented the kid is, so [I’m] very proud of his preseason.

On Nikola Jokić

I think the team accomplishments will tell that [what Jokić’s next level is]. I hope he’s in the conversation for being the MVP of the league at the end of the season. It all depends on team success.

On Jamal Murray’s new contract

He’s another player that we got on draft night. To watch his growth and get to know him personally after spending so much time with him, [has been great]. What he did in the playoffs was amazing. You know that floater against San Antonio in Game 7 will be remembered. And he’s [just] 22 years old. There’s a lot of things still coming with him [in his development]. He knows exactly what he needs to work on.

In [media] interviews, he’s mentioned consistency and he’s working on those things. I promise that we are going to get the best version, hopefully this year, of Jamal. He’s going to show his growth this season.



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