As we sit down today for a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for, I’ll start off with being thankful that the Denver Nuggets pulled out a win last night with a remarkable third quarter that narrowly offset the total of the three quarters they dropped in Minnesota. Thankful that the team was able to gut out a win after so many narrow losses of late. I may just eat an extra piece of pie in celebration.

Who am I kidding, that pie’s fate was sealed whether last night had been a win or a loss. Goodbye, pie.

I’m thankful for the guys who play on the team, that they seem to be quality human beings who are working their butts off to both win and improve, and that they honestly care and support one another. That they stand up for each other, and don’t let the tough moments drive wedges between them. I’m thankful that they are as aware of their need to grow as I am, and I am thankful for the joy and abandon they play the game with.

I’m thankful for the coaches and staff who seem to work countless hours in putting this product on the floor. For the thousands of thankless tasks they undertake to finally spend a couple of hours a few times a week under lights that can be blindingly bright and hot, winning or losing. I’m thankful that they have primarily shielded this young squad from the pressures of an expectant fan base, and told them to just keep going out and playing their game and improving.

I’m thankful for the Altitude broadcast crew who makes each game an entertaining and insightful business, who take the time to talk about what’s going on on the court and behind the scenes, and try to give the viewer or listener a taste of what’s happening across the Nuggets ecosystem.

I’m thankful to get to work with a group of writers and content providers on this blog who wear their hearts on their sleeves in all the best ways to report on this team, and who also undertake that continuous effort at improvement, while already cranking out such diverse, entertaining, and well-thought insights. For the amazing amount of support I get and see given to each and every member when I primarily “see” these folks online a few minutes a day. A special group of people. A team.

I’m thankful for the rest of the Denver media and SB Nation, who have been wildly kind and accommodating to a guy who sometimes actually writes about the Nuggets. On occasion.

I’m thankful for the Denver Nuggets fan base, who is steadily growing in number and voice, watching this young squad emerge from a cocoon they’d thought might never open. For the dedicated hearts of so many Denverites, Coloradoans, and Nuggets fans all over the world who exult and mourn with every game, quarter, and shot. Even at it’s smallest, Nuggets Nation is mighty, and the groundswell already growing around this team should only propel them to a larger bandwagon over the next few seasons.

I’m thankful that I live in a place where I am free to voice my opinion in my home and in my neighborhood, in the media, and in the polls. That I live in a country built well enough to withstand the enormous pressures being brought to bear on it in this day and age. That I live in a place where I can listen to and interact with so many brilliant and diverse voices because of that freedom. I am so very lucky and thankful. I am thankful for everyone who is still trying to listen.

And if you have made it this far, I am deeply thankful for you. That you would ever take the time to read a word I had to say, I am deeply touched. That you spend your time in this general neck of the woods is a great honor to all of us at Denver Stiffs. Here’s hoping that your day is filled with those nearest and dearest to you wherever you are from. And pie. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving. Go Nuggets!

“Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairy tale.”

– Wale Ayeni

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