Nuggets’ Masai Ujiri earns 2012-13 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award

NEW YORK – Denver Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is the recipient of the 2012-13 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award, the NBA announced today.

Ujiri was instrumental in assembling an ensemble cast – nine players averaged between 8.0 and 16.7 points and Denver’s bench ranked second overall in scoring (41.3 ppg) – that finished with the league’s fourth-best record (57-25, .695) and secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Denver’s league-best 38-3 (.927) mark at Pepsi Center tied for the 14th best home mark in league history.

Over the summer, Ujiri augmented Denver’s roster by acquiring Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia in a four-team, 12-player deal, and he re-signed JaVale McGee and Andre Miller. Since joining the Nuggets front office prior to the 2010-11 season, Ujiri has drafted Kenneth Faried (No. 22 overall in 2011), and in addition to Iguodala, McGee and Miller, has acquired Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari and Kosta Koufos via trades.

With those players comprising the bulk of the roster, the Nuggets opened the 2012-13 campaign as the NBA’s third-youngest team with an average age of 24.9 years. Despite their youth, the Nuggets compiled two of the seven longest winning streaks in the NBA in 2012-13, including a franchise-best-tying 15 straight wins (Feb. 23-March 23). Additionally, according to, Denver was a Western Conference-best 24-4 (.857) after the All-Star break.

Ujiri, who spent three years with the Toronto Raptors before joining the Nuggets, was named to his current position on Aug. 27, 2010. He worked for the Nuggets organization as a scout from 2003-07, and served as the team’s director of international scouting during the 2006-07 season.

Ujiri totaled 59 points and received eight first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team basketball executives throughout the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Gary Sacks finished second with 28 points (three first-place votes) votes and the Houston Rockets’ Daryl Morey and the New York Knicks’ Glen Grunwald finished tied for third with 25 points (four first-place votes). Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Below are the results of the voting for the 2012-13 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.


Executive, Team                           1st           2nd          3rd           Total

Masai Ujiri, Denver                     8             6             1             59

Gary Sacks, L.A. Clippers             3             4             1             28

Daryl Morey, Houston                   4             1             2             25

Glen Grunwald, New York            2             4             3             25

R.C. Buford, San Antonio             4             1             1             24

Pat Riley, Miami                            4             1             1             24

Bob Myers, Golden State               1             4             6             23

Sam Presti, Oklahoma City            1             1             4             12

Danny Ferry, Atlanta                     1             1             –              8

Rob Hennigan, Orlando                                1             –              2       7

Billy King, Brooklyn                      –              2             1             7

Donnie Walsh, Indiana                                 –              1             4       7

Kevin O’Connor, Utah                   –              2             –              6

Jason Levien, Memphis                 –              1             –              –        5

John Hammond, Milwaukee          –              1             1             4

Dell Demps, New Orleans             –              –              1             1

Gar Forman, Chicago                     –              –              1             1


1972-73   Joe Axelson, K.C./Omaha

1973-74  Eddie Donovan, Buffalo

1974-75  Dick Vertlieb, Golden State

1975-76  Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix

1976-77  Ray Patterson, Houston

1977-78  Angelo Drossos, San Antonio

1978-79  Bob Ferry, Washington

1979-80  Red Auerbach, Boston

1980-81  Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix

1981-82  Bob Ferry, Washington

1982-83  Zollie Volchok, Seattle

1983-84  Frank Layden, Utah

1984-85  Vince Boryla, Denver

1985-86  Stan Kasten, Atlanta

1986-87  Stan Kasten, Atlanta

1987-88  Jerry Krause, Chicago

1988-89  Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix

1989-90  Bob Bass, San Antonio

1990-91  Bucky Buckwalter, Portland

1991-92  Wayne Embry, Cleveland

1992-93  Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix

1993-94  Bob Whitsitt, Seattle

1994-95  Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers

1995-96  Jerry Krause, Chicago

1996-97  Bob Bass, Charlotte

1997-98  Wayne Embry, Cleveland

1998-99  Geoff Petrie, Sacramento

1999-00  John Gabriel, Orlando

2000-01  Geoff Petrie, Sacramento

2001-02  Rod Thorn, New Jersey

2002-03  Joe Dumars, Detroit

2003-04  Jerry West, Memphis

2004-05  Bryan Colangelo, Phoenix

2005-06  Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Clippers

2006-07  Bryan Colangelo, Toronto

2007-08  Danny Ainge, Boston

2008-09  Mark Warkentien, Denver

2009-10  John Hammond, Milwaukee

2010-11  Gar Forman, Chicago

Pat Riley, Miami

2011-12  Larry Bird, Indiana

2012-13  Masai Ujiri, Denver