No matter what my age, maturity just doesn’t seem to be my thing. Hence the petulance with which I approach every Nuggets offseason. When that last game ends, I behave as if someone has died. I wonder how things might have been if we’d have only won those 6-56 more games that kept us from a Championship.

Maybe I grew up a little this offseason (maybe not). Because I finally recognized an obvious pattern in my behavior. Maybe I did think someone died. Maybe Elisabeth Kübler-Ross knows her psychiatry just a little bit.

In the interest of avoiding Nate flying to L.A. and kicking me in the basketballs, words I typically use in the grief process will be replaced ad nauseam, a la Roman Moronie. Trust me, this is for your protection. Here's how it typically goes down:

Stage 1 – Denial

(stage's most recent version starts on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 16th, 2014.)

“No WAY, we lost to the mamaplucking Golden State Warriors and Andre Iguodala (linked thusly on purpose so SB Nation can still have his named link). There would be no justice to having a semi-redeemable end to a season WITHOUT BEATING THE HOLY FRUITENGRUBEN WARRIORS!!!”

This descends into incoherency and ancient Sanskrit cursewords quickly. Blessedly, denial is a very short phase in this process.

Stage 2 – Anger

(stage starts about 180 seconds after Stage 1)

I CANNOT BELIEVE we backslid to a cod-planned 36-win season! The cork-shucking injuries! The complete several-games-long meltdowns, TWICE in ONE FlammaJAMMA SEASON!!! If only we hadn’t gone through that (this part varies season to season… insert one of the following: knee injury/cancer scare/inbound pass/Bernie Bickerstaff) we’d have been JUST FINE! FAHHHHHHHH!!!

You'd think this phase would be short as well. I'm actually usually mumbling like this until…

Stage 3 – Bargaining

(Phase usually starts early-ish May, a week or two prior to the Draft Lottery)

"Look, basketball-centric deity… I don't ask for much, but… Just one number one pick? Ever?"

Every year we're eligible. Like Charlie Brown with the football.

Stage 4 – Depression

(Phase tends to start at the draft lottery, and is introduced in a blessedly abrupt fashion)

"Huh. Cleveland. Again. Nate Silver would know the odds of this, but… so did Sportsgrid."

Stage 5 – Acceptance

(Phase happily starts somewhere around the draft… usually.)

“Geez, you gotta like what Tim Connelly did to still snag Gary Harris this draft… and look at these other pieces. Danilo Gallinari is back… JaVale McGee

When is this GourdClammed HassenFeffer season GOING TO START?!?!?!"

This is right about where some would argue I'm still a little angry. Some do, actually.

Camp starts next week, Stiffs. Are you ready for Nuggets Basketball? Acceptance, my bass.

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