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Stiffs Shootaround: It’s time for Denver Nuggets fans to move on

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Scabs, scars, and digging in a landfill

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

James Howells was 27 years old when he first got into Bitcoin. It was 2009 and cyptocurrency was still a word most people had never heard before and even fewer understood. An IT professional, Howells saw a 21st century gold-rush so he started mining Bitcoin in his home using an old Dell laptop computer. He was able to amass around 7,500 bitcoins before his girlfriend grew tired of the constant humming noise that his mining operation produced.

Howells soon disassembled the laptop and sold the parts for scrap. At the time, his 7,500 Bitcoins weren’t worth a whole lot but a few years later, the price started to rise and the promise for crypto markets started to rise with it. In 2017, when Bitcoin really began to skyrocket, Howells realized that he had thrown away tens of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. Not wanting to move on from such a blunder, he started trying to dig up his old hard drive beneath five years of landfill waste, toxic gasses, and s*** smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. His plan, should he get his city’s approval, is to wallow in waste for however long it takes to recover his fortune and make right his mistake.

Thailand Is One Of The Top Five Plastic Polluters In The World Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Tonight, the Utah Jazz are in Houston for what is likely going to be a funeral for their season. And as their season comes to an end, so too must mark the end of the mourning period for Denver Nuggets fans who have been dwelling on their team’s draft-night disaster since it happened 10 months ago.

Donovan Mitchell was ours. There are photos of him wearing a Denver Nuggets hat and smiling in front of a Nuggets logo. You can even watch a clip of Adam Silver saying “with the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets select Donovan Mitchell from the University of Louisville.”

Mitchell could’ve been ours but instead he is a member of the Utah Jazz, as well as one of the best rookies the league has seen in years. He’s a dynamic scorer who plays the pick-and-roll like a 10-year veteran but has the explosiveness and energy of a 21 year-old phenom. He has a gracious personality, tireless work ethic, and million dollar smile but he also has a killer instinct that somehow strikes fear into the eyes of all-star caliber players who are 10-years his senior. In short, he looks amazing. He looks transcendent. He looks like he’d be perfect in Denver.

Nuggets fans, myself included, often find a sort of cathartic joy in self-loathing when it comes to the Denver Nuggets. “NuggLife” is used as a sort of unofficial motto whenever something painful and/or unexpectedly bad happens to the Nuggets. Even our site, Denver Stiffs, is a self-own of sorts (as well as an homage to Doug Moe). We aren’t the “Bad Boys” or the “Showtime” Lakers. We’re the Stiffs.

But there is a difference between peeling your scabs and admiring your scars. Donovan Mitchell is awesome and will probably be awesome for a long, long time. Playing in the Northwest division will allow Denver to get an up close look at him at least four times per season, enough to become a household name. That scar won’t go away anytime soon but for crying out loud, let the scab heal!

The Nuggets missed out on a great player but they weren’t the only ones. The Pistons took Luke Kennard, the Hornets took Malik Monk and the Knicks took Frank Ntilikina all before the 13h pick. All three of those players combined average fewer points per game than Mitchell. Back in 2013, 14 teams passed on Giannis Antetokounmpo including one who drafted Anthony Bennett. In 2014, 40 players were picked before Nikola Jokic. It happens. And for the teams who missed out, it sucks.

This year it was Denver’s turn to wear the dunce cap. Draft night was a disaster, but it was also 315 days ago. You don’t have to forgive and forget about the error, but for everyone’s sanity, you really should get over it. So tonight (or later this week), as the Jazz’s season officially comes to an end, stop digging through a landfill of waste, sorrow, and self pity. There isn’t a fortune down there. There’s just mud, slime, and other people’s toenails!

It’s Spring in Denver. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and your young Denver Nuggets are still very fun and promising. It’s time to move on.

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