Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of the Nuggets' lives. The soap opera that has turned into the Brian Shaw era continues. Shaw has repeatedly questioned the effort of his players, throughout his tenure as Nuggets head coach, and now he's pondering if his players might be turning on him and losing on purpose. Yes, you read that right.
On Sunday, the Nuggets practiced for 90 minutes. Then Shaw talked to his team, behind closed doors, for nearly another 30.
Afterward, with the doors open, Shaw talked to The Denver Post about tanking.
"I think it's hard to try to lose, try to tank, try to go out there with guys who are competing with you and not compete back," he said. " It's harder to do that than to just put forth the effort in the first place."
Shaw said he suspects his players may be trying to lose.
"It just looks like you almost have to try to lose as bad, and in the way we've been losing," he said. "At that point, something gives. The decision-makers at some point are going to make a decision. And everybody is going to have to live with it. Then it's out of our control.
"The only thing I can control is doing my job to the best of my ability. And that's what I expect them to do. Do I feel like that's always been the case? No. Do I share responsibility in that? Yeah."
Now, Shaw may have been joking or taken out of context when he referenced "tanking", but Shaw goes on to say that he's doing his job to the best of his ability, expects his players to do the same, but says of his players professionalism, "Do I feel like that's always been the case? No."
Again, Shaw is questioning the professionalism of his team. The team has changed faces, even bringing in veteran point guard Jameer Nelson - in part for his leadership qualities - but the story remains the same. Shaw believes his team is not bringing effort. It's funny how Arron Afflalo and Nelson show up, and yet the story remains that the team is not coming with the right stuff in games. If the Nuggets trade for Brook Lopez, how long before Shaw questions his effort?
Tim Connelly can keep bringing in "Shaw guys," but what player has been a Shaw guy thus far? It doesn't take long for a new player to arrive, and then have some bristling words for the coaches. Nelson had his just nine games into his Nuggets tenure.
The Nuggets can look for roster upgrades all they want, as Ben Hochman reference in his recent piece, but all those moves won't add up to much if the team has a leader that nobody is willing to follow.
Get your popcorn ready, the Nuggets faces the Sixers in about a half hour ... we'll see what happens.