The best way to have more power than billionaire Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke is to have more money than him. Multi-millionaire World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon doesn't have more money than Stan Kroenke, but if you asked McMahon, he'd probably tell you that he should. In fact, Vince McMahon believes that the fact that Kroenke's net worth is so high is a crime... sorta.
"Quite frankly, it's my view that Stan Kroenke should be arrested for impersonating a good businessman," said McMahon in an interview with ESPN.
What's fueling these harsh words from the WWE Chairman? A poor business decision by Kroenke. On Monday night, the Denver Nuggets will host the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals at the Pepsi Center. The only problem is that Vince McMahon and his crew of professional wrestlers entertainers have a contract saying that they'll be there on Monday night to broadcast their long-running Monday Night Raw program. Oops.
The spot was "secured" by the WWE on August 15th of last year. Either incredibly forgetful or hopelessly incredulous, Stan Kroenke signed away the arena that was to host game four of the conference finals. With that mistake, Stan Kroenke sold his soul to the devil and the devil's name was McMahon.
As any good businessman would, McMahon is currently milking the incident for all of the notoriety and cash flow that it's worth. Let's face it, while World Wrestling Entertainment still produces remarkably strong ratings with their broadcasts of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown!, national (and possibly global) appreciation for the form of entertainment has diminished over the years. WWE events no longer make entertainment headlines as they did in the 80's and 90's and household names are virtually non-existent as they were when the rings were adorned by such names as Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
By creating this mixup, Stan Kroenke offered Vince McMahon the publicity opportunity that he was patiently waiting for. Controversy creates ratings and Vince McMahon was able to land the WWE in controversy without doing a thing wrong.
Determining who's in the wrong here is based solely on morals. A businessman and Denver Nuggets fan would probably argue that Kroenke is in the wrong for an obvious mistake made by his organization. Those who believe in strong ethics are most likely to claim that McMahon was being unprofessional by publicly trashing and humiliating Stan Kroenke while at no point looking for an agreement.
Considering that both the WWE and the Denver Nuggets are businesses, it's important that all aspects of the incident are viewed from a business standpoint. As an NBA team owner, it's assumed that all playoff dates would be highlighted on every calender and datebook connected to the organization. With that said, one could only guess that Kroenke didn't forget about the playoff games when he scheduled Monday Night Raw, but he didn't expect the playoffs. As an owner, he and his fans should be ashamed.
As for McMahon, well, let's not forget the business he is in. Nothing about the WWE has really ever said "professionalism". It's hard to expect professionalism from a man who runs an organization who's sole intentions are to not be professional. It's only fitting that such a controversial organization be subject to such... well... controversy.