In the weird fantasy world where there is no NBA lockout - and where unicorns and leprechauns frolic in the open with the Loch Ness monster - lets talk about what the "Denver" type of player is.
Right at the time Carmelo Anthony was traded from the Denver Nuggets. Former Denver Broncos football player (and current radio talk show host) Alfred Williams went on record as saying that Denver needs players that want to play in Denver. There is a "type" of player who would willingly stay with the Nuggets and not seek greater branding and fame in a larger market.
Now...Williams went on to imply (in a roundabout way) that there was a slight racial undertone to what type of player the fans of Denver would cheer for (not including Chauncey Billups who is a hometown guy). Putting that aside, what is the type of player that would seek to stay and win championships in Denver? Do we have any clue?
Unfortunately the Nuggets don't have a long history of players "choosing" to stay in Denver in the free agency era. Alex English comes to mind. Dan Issel comes to mind as well. Outside of that the Nuggets have mirrored the city dynamics of Denver. Transient. Players have often used Denver as a either as a stepping stone (Melo), or left after being offered an insulting contract (Dikembe Mutumbo) or were traded (Antonio McDyess, CB...twice for both). English is the one star who stayed the longest.
So you must, as a team, find a star (because winning in the NBA requires stars) who want's to stay in Denver. People point to Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, but I keep telling people that he signed almost the same exact contract extension that Melo did after his third year. In the NBA you get paid on your third contract. So it's yet to be actually seen if Durant will choose to stay in OKC when his extension is up. Is there a player out there that would willing spend the majority of their career's in Denver and build a contending team? If so, what kind of player would they be?
On a personal note: I've never felt comfortable with a so called "Franchise Tag". Players hate them, and I don't like the concept of identifying your team as a prison. We scoff at players who don't want to stay for a higher average one year salary, but lets face it...you want players who WANT to be here...not who are forced to when they have an opportunity to leave.
With that being said, is there any potential star on the Nuggets roster? I hope (and the Nuggets hope) it's Danilo Gallinari? But does Gallo have the desire to stay in Denver and build something? That remains to be seen. Who is it on this Nuggets team that want's to both stay in Denver and to lead this team for years to come? It's hard to say, and quite frankly these are the questions that have haunted this city for a long time. Are we doomed to be a transient NBA stop for budding superstars, OR, is there that special player - special DENVER player - who want's to take the mile high city on their backs.
So my fellow stiffs...who are the players on the roster you think will become stars? Will they stay in Denver? If not, does this mean we have to get "lucky" in the (infuriating to Jeff) NBA draft lottery?
The future is up in the air...when the NBA returns let's hope the future is a bright one for our Denver Nuggets.
Most logical fix for NBA would be to get smaller - Ken Berger, CBSSports.com
Ken Berger floats an idea of contracting several struggling franchises to contribute to the NBA's new CBA.
Annual breakdown of Nuggets season schedule - Aaron Lopez, denvernuggets.com
A-Lo breaks down the Nuggets "schedule" next season, as our fellow Stiff Andrew Feinstein did earlier this week. He's also doing this on a website that doesn't feature any actual players. Amazing.
Pistons poised to hire Frank as coach - Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports
Lawrence Frank (aka: Bilbo Baggins) is poised to become the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons. Good for him, I thought he got the short end of the stick (no pun intended) in New Jersey and hopefully this will be successful for him.
The National Basketball Associations' European Vacation - Jonathan Abrams, Grantland.com
On Bill Simmons' Grantland site, Jonathan Abrams writes about the complexities of NBA players in Europe and what the effect would be if there was a year-long lockout.
Union president Derek Fisher maintains bold stance in labor negotiations - Ian Thomsen, SI.com
An overview of Derek Fisher's role in the NBA Players Association.
Now for some 80's cheese. I wish I was a drawing...
A-Ha - Take On Me (OFFICIAL VIDEO) (via RhinoEntertainment)