With the finish line of the Melocalypse in sight, I'd like to count out five reasons I believe I'm a better person for having gone through this mess.
"I'm good enough. I'm smart enough ... and doggon it, people like me!"
-Stuart Smalley, Saturday Night Live
It's either the upped dosage of Xanax, or the rubber band snapping treatment. Whatever it is I'm finding my happy place with the Melocalypse ending in sight on this site. Here's what I've learned, with apologies to Carmelo Anthony.
1. I now know that the New Jersey Nets like leaking to Adrian Wojnarowski. I mean, they really like leaking information to him. This is good info for future reference. How many articles and Tweets can one man write from the the Nets point of view? Not that Woj is a "bad" writer. Quite the contrary (although I wish he would stop with the personal agenda thing he has going with Creative Arts Agency (CAA), and Lebron James) It's just that he became a de-facto mouthpiece for the Nets organization and it got a bit irritating from this end. However, in my new-found serenity I have come to appreciate Woj as an information producing machine. I predict that Twitter will soon be re-named Woj, and people will be "Wojing" all day long. Blogs will also be called Bergers (after Ken Berger), that's in the works as well.
2. If you pay too close attention to the Melocalypse you may be driven insane. I'm not kidding folks. Too many emotional swings and trying to predict what the hell Melo is saying or even what he means! Andrew, Nate and I usually converse via email every day to get an idea of what's happening in the Nuggets world and set an agenda and the last few weeks when one of us brings up Melo I find my right eye twitches uncontrollably. Next step is laughter at inappropriate times and bleeding from the eyes. Not fun. What's even more frustrating is I hear things, then I hear from people who hear things that contradict the things I hear ... at which point I begin tearing out my hair and drawing crosses all over myself to ward off the evil basketball spirits (ala In the Mouth of Madness).
3. The horrendously long experience has allowed me to get used to the idea of rebuilding. I still don't like it, but if the Nuggets are going that direction I like to be mentally prepared. If a trade helps the Nuggets to not be horrible for too long then it's alright with me (if Melo is traded that is). As a long time Nuggets fan the word rebuilding doesn't elicit in me a lot of confidence. However, if the organization is up-front with the public with what to expect then, so be it. It will be nice to find some better seats at Pepsi Center, that is a positive. We get to see players grow as Nuggets and we will get a chance to see what Masai Ujiri can do. This is normally where I'd interject something cynical, but you know ... serenity and all.
4. It's been reiterated to me that the NBA is really a two to three Star driven league. You really need that guy and the slightly less guy who's just as important. Going forward with the Nuggets it will be curious to see how the Nuggets plan on finding that combination. I think one of the fatal flaws with the Oklahoma City Thunder is their youth. They don't have any real veteran guidance or presence. I seriously believe that you need a nice mix of both youth and vets to win a championship. OKC has the the focal point (Kevin Durant) and the lesser focal point (Russell Westbrook) but they need a veteran leader to get them over the hump. If the Nuggets are going all young I would hope the organization has the foresight to understand it needs a good mix. As I said it will be interesting to see how they do. Even after the new CBA (article on revenue sharing coming soon by the way) you still need stars. I do have a fear the Nuggets are going to attempt to follow the Avalanche model with no safety net (ie: no legit minor league to develop talent), but at this point no one really knows what is going to happen.
5. I know that regardless of where he ends up, I will be truly appreciative and thankful for Carmelo Anthony and what he has brought to the city of Denver and the Nuggets. In the 12 seasons previous to Melo we had a team that was sold three times, had horrible luck in the draft lottery (never picking higher than third ... are you kidding me?) and became known as the Siberia of the NBA. Melo changed all that. For that I owe Carmelo Anthony a debt of gratitude and my sincere thanks for making NBA basketball in Denver relevant again. It's been a great nearly 8 year ride with Melo. Regardless of how this shakes out from here on out I know I'll always have the memories. Two inbounds passes from an NBA final is closer than the Nuggets ever got. Three straight seasons of at least 50 wins.
Update: After I wrote this column, Melo had his press conference after the San Antonio Spurs game on Sunday and seemed pretty defiant about hooking up with the Nets. The Melocalypse may not be close to ending as I initially thought.
Stuart Smalley's famous quote (via sloneramone)