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The Stiff List: Lowe Altitude on Mt. Mutombo

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This week’s Stiff List includes Cavs fans, Zach Lowe, and haters everywhere

NBA All-Star Game 2016 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

5. Cavs fans.

There is a meme floating around twitter perpetrated by Cleveland Cavaliers fans that goes something like this: "Don’t let _______ distract you from the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead after winning 73 games and having the first ever unanimous MVP."

The ________ part is filled with everyday minutiae or current events. It’s supposed to be funny and witty and a jab at Warriors fans but the problem is that, apparently, people from Cleveland aren’t funny or witty. What’s worse, is that the Cavs win should be inspiring, not insulting.

They broke a 50+ year curse and did it behind their hometown hero, Lebron James, dropping one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history. There was also the redemption storyline with Lebron leaving and then coming back. Yet Cavs fans have taken that storybook series and turned it into an unfunny, negative, attack on a team that they barely have any history with beyond the last two seasons.

If Denver ever wins an NBA championship, rest assured that I will NOT spend a summer focusing on whatever team they beat in the finals.

4. Mutombo haters

At media day, Josh Kroenke revealed that the Nuggets will be honoring Dikembe Mutombo by retiring his jersey before the team’s first home game this season. For most people it was a nice gesture. The Nuggets have a fairly rich history that dates all the way back to the ABA and sadly, that history gets swept under the rug far too often. Great NBA fanbases love celebrating iconic teams, coaches, and players of the past. Mutombo is one of the most iconic players in Nuggets history, in part because of that incredible 8-1 upset over the Sonics punctuated by one of the most emotional displays the league has ever seen.

Yet somehow we here at the Stiffs received a surprising amount of Mutombo hate and scoffing at the idea that his jersey be retired. Some argued that he wasn’t even the best to wear #55. Others said that he wanted out of Denver and shouldn’t be remembered fondly. Both of those things might be true but isn’t his jersey getting retired still a good thing? Isn’t it still cool that Nuggets fans will get to watch a 20 year old Emmanuel Mudiay watch a player who played in this city before Mudiay was even born, get his jersey retired? Will anything make you happy?

3. The basketball gods

Do you hate us? Are we not allowed to have nice things? Why do you always take away or hurt the ones we love? Last year it was Wilson Chandler, this year it’s Gary Harris and Darrell Arthur. Fortunately, both injuries appears to be relatively minor and they should be back within a month or two, but it’s not a good sign that the Nuggets are losing, on average, two players per game this preseason.

2. Zach Lowe

Zach is the best American sports writer and probably the writer I idolize the most. So it is with a heavy heart that I have to place him so high on the Stiff List this week. But Zach released his annual "league pass watch-ability" rankings yesterday and inexplicably ranked the Nuggets 29th!

Zach said on his podcast earlier this summer that a trip to Denver is on the schedule of an in-depth breakdown of what’s going on with the Nuggets. That article is certain to be a good one and, hopefully, a bit of time spent in the Mile High City will help him realize just how much fun this young Nuggets team really is. 29th. Phfff. I dare you to turn off a Nuggets game in favor of an Orlando Magic game this year. C’mon!

1. Altitude

It’s one thing for a national writer out in New York to deem the Nuggets unwatchable. It’s an entirely different thing for THE TEAM’S OWN BROADCAST COMPANY to do the same! We’ve beaten Altitude up over the last week so I don’t want to pile on too harshly again and again and again. After all, they have produced some very interesting content over the last year or so, both on their TV station and at nuggets.com. But what kind of message does it send to your own fanbase when they skip out on game broadcasts or live streams and provide almost no coverage during training camp?

Not a good one, and that’s why they are #1 on this week’s Stiff List.