It seemed like it all started with a chant...
Former Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw didn’t survive much longer, and there was a parade of players to follow, many of them with reputations for making a locker room a poisonous place. The chant was actually more the last straw than the beginning of the issue, but it seemed to tip the scales to a point that the Nuggets front office had finally had enough.
Gone were point guards Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson. Talented, both, but mercurial on their best days, and an emotional drain on their worst. Piece by piece, the gents who seemed to sour things were shown the door, and replaced by guys with reputations for being “character guys”. Vets who were locker room leaders, like Jameer Nelson and Mike Miller. Rookies and youngsters who were excited to learn, and be a part of a planned system, like Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, and more. Slowly, the Nuggets were getting their ducks in a row.
The outcome has not been immediate, but things have been turning around the last two seasons. A lot of that is new blood in the system, and a lot of that is some surprising talent being added to the mix. But don’t discount the shift that has come by way of the team focusing more on assembling a cast of characters who have character.
If you’ve spent much of any time in the working world, you have probably worked in situations where everyone got along, supported one another, and pulled their own weight. You’ve also probably worked in situations where there was/were one (or a hundred) poison pills that made the idea of simply walking in the door of your gig a miserable moment. Imagine how much that might be amplified by having those moments play out in front of thousands of people, often while you are still in your teens or early twenties.
The difference between the cohesion of that “SIX WEEKS!” team in 2015 (30-52 final record) and the group that nearly battled their way to a .500 record last season (40-42) was a lot more than a ten game improvement. It was also a change of culture in what the organization wanted in getting aligned.
Who do the Nuggets grab as a part of this year’s draft? And how does the new guy fit into the fold as a part of this character-driven crew? The next chapter gets underway today, Nuggets Nation, and Denver Stiffs will be covering every angle we can, wall to wall. Who is the next character coming our way?
How big a difference has the shift to "good character" guys made in the last two seasons?
This poll is closed
A huge difference
A small difference
No difference at all