"Rael stands astonished doubting his sight,
Struck by beauty, gripped in fright;
Three vermilion snakes of female face
The smallest motion, filled with grace."
The Lamia - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
In 1974 an extremely fraught and challenging recording process revealed what is considered one of the "peaks" of 1970's progressive rock ... the epic double album by the band Genesis called The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. A surreal, languid, opaquely written coming of age story of a Puerto Rican street punk named Rael on the streets of New York. Don't try to figure out the story, it will give you a headache. It's basically like Pilgrims Progress on LSD.
The recording process of The Lamb ended up sewing the seeds to the Peter Gabriel/Genesis divorce that would happen a year later after a massive 104 date world tour to support the album. Genesis would achieve even greater success with Phil Collins moving from drums to Vocals in 1975 and Peter Gabriel would gain much success as a solo artist. Much like their fictional hero in The Lamb, Rael, both the band and singer ended transforming from art/progressive music titans to pop geniuses. Coming out the other side much more successful ... if not critically appealing.
The other side of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway revealed Us, So and all four of Peter Gabriel's self titled albums. It also revealed A Trick of the Tail, Duke, Genesis and Invisible Touch for Genesis. Different aspects of commercial achievement surrounds both.
Now you're asking ... what the hell does this have to do with the Denver Nuggets?
In a league who's pundits and tangential social media demand and get morally indignant if you don't rebuild by following a rigid blueprint of tear down/be horrible/collect draft picks/hope to be lucky the Nuggets have tried something different. Particularly this last offseason which the steadfastly held true to good locker room veterans such as Wilson Chandler and Jameer Nelson, while hoping for an emergence of long simmering (if healthy) star power in Danilo Gallinari. While at the same time investing in youth such as Emmanuel Mudiay and his potential game-changing talent, to youth such as Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris.
The hope is that the Nuggets have that transformative year ... which may not be the peak of their success but sets them on the course to achieving said success. Much like Genesis and their subject Rael in The Lamb ... the Nuggets hope their journey becomes one of transcendence. Yet the thought remains in the back of everyone's mind, do the troubles and trials to get to this point (Gallo's 2013 injury, the "mole" incident with Andre Iguodala, George Karl and Masai Ujiri's departures, the disastrous Brian Shaw tenure) mean that the people who have carped on about the Nuggets doing things "wrong" will be proven correct? Is there really a "one size fits all way of rebuilding a team"?
Who knows. The NBA has evolved rapidly the last several seasons. Things that were true before (tear it down and be horrible for many years to rebuild) may not be true anymore. Maybe the story of the Atlanta Hawks last season is that you don't need to be horrible to be better (although that level of "good" such as the Hawks may have a ceiling ... cough, cough) but I think the NBA has changed.
Maybe we don't need to be rigid anymore? I hope so.
And Lamb ... Lies Down .... on Broadway