So it turns out the Denver Nuggets are a little peeved about the process that led to executive Tim Connelly leaving the franchise to run the Timberwolves.

At least that's how we should read comments from Denver sports executive Josh Kroenke, who according to media in that city had not addressed them since around the time the Wolves eliminated the Nuggets from playoff contention in Game 82 of 2018.

Kroenke, the vice chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment — the holding company with an ownership stake in several teams, including the Nuggets and Avalanche — spoke with Denver media Friday for the first time in more than four years, per the Denver Post's Michael Singer.

Singer also had a lot of the key analysis of details from the Nuggets' perspective of the Wolves' pursuit — and ultimate landing — of Connelly, which included a five-year, $40 million contract and what has been termed an equity stake in the team.

Per Singer:

(Kroenke) didn't know exactly what the Timberwolves had offered Connelly – even invoking the phrase "phantom equity" – but intimated there was some type of bonus scheme. Regardless of what it was, Kroenke said the Nuggets aren't a "startup" organization that would offer such incentives.

"Ultimately when you go to a stratosphere that some clubs, you say some desperate clubs, are willing to go to, there's a tier out there that just kind of doesn't make sense," he said.

Those aren't quite fighting words, but they seem pretty intentional. Kroenke twice used the word "desperate" and described the Wolves' initial approach of Connelly as going through the "side door," per Singer.

Sports Illustrated had another interesting Kroenke quote: "I felt that we made a very competitive offer that would have allowed him to feel good about staying in Denver, and ultimately he felt that some of the upside there on the back end through some of the bonus schemes were probably too good to pass up for his family."

Connelly was promoted to oversee Denver's basketball operations in 2013, a position he held until recently when he jumped over to the Timberwolves.

Whether it was desperation — that aforementioned 2018 season was the Wolves' lone playoff appearance since 2004 before this year — or just good aggressive ownership is perhaps in the eye of the beholder.

Since this has happened twice in the last decade to the Nuggets — Masai Ujuri left for Toronto in 2013, opening the door for Connelly — perhaps Kroenke would be better served holding up a mirror instead of a flashlight.