The Ringer, the new HBO-sponsored sports and entertainment platform from Bill Simmons that features many ex-Grantland staffers, has some unusually insightful things to say about the Nuggets from a national perspective. In a series focused on trying to find the next version of the Oklahome City Thunder - now that the previous version has expired - the Denver Nuggets come up on their radar:
There is a reason it takes time for a buzzworthy team to rise to the top: creating a winner from scratch is a long and complicated process with no foolproof method. Nuggets GM Tim Connelly has done what he could up to this point: draft well, and maintain a flexible salary table amid this unprecedented cap boom. Cult teams teach the value and agony of patience, as fans have to wait to watch a core solidify and provide a verdict. The Nuggets’ sudden infusion of talent last season has given them a light at the end of the tunnel — and like the Earth itself, their core is fluid and brilliant. Denver has become the West’s undefined variable. The Nuggets could be next. But it wouldn’t take much for them to be now.
They single out Emmanuel Mudiay and especially Nikola Jokic for effusive praise, but it seems Dwyane Wade's obvious flirtation with and thank you to our franchise - media stunt or not - has raised the profile of the Nuggets in league circles to at least get them to flip open the media guide and get to know Denver's players.
Perhaps some of them will even be able to tell Nurkic and Jokic apart by season's end. Miracles are possible. Definitely check out the article - it's the first national shot across the bow announcing our presence, and if all goes well this year it certainly won't be the last.