“What is happiness?” — The George Karl status quo

“What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.”

This hauntingly apt delineation of human desire was uttered by the titular anti-hero of “Mad Men,” Don Draper, in a not-so-subtle metaphor for his own perpetuating unhappiness. For those who don’t watch, “Mad Men” is an AMC show that chronicles the death rattle of 1960’s culture through the eyes of either growing chameleonic or increasingly obsolete admen. It doubles, however, as commentary on the timeless endeavors of the human experience, one being the endless pursuit of happiness. Don, like nearly all the characters on “Mad Men,” suffers from perpetual disillusionment with his own status quo. No matter where he is in his life he always wants more, and the crux of the show revolves around life returning him with regressing amounts of less. His continuous failure to stop and be content where he is sends him careening toward a progressively vacant, self deprecating, and most of all, unhappy existence.

Sports fans live mostly in this Draper-esque world, where we constantly look at where our teams are and keep wanting more, mostly to the detriment of our own well-being. And that’s OK. The ultimate goal is a championship so what’s wrong about striving for it? But there is a fine line between striving for more and blatantly ignoring what you have. Somewhere along the way, the status quo of winning seasons and playoff berths year in and year out became not enough for Nuggets fans. The ever elusive second round became the narrative and the postseason failures eventually morphed into an indictment on George Karl.

Every loss served to feed the growing narrative that Karl “just couldn’t coach in the playoffs” and, inevitably, this confirmation bias began continually reaffirming itself. It didn’t matter that each season brought a new team, a new story and a new reason for a playoff loss. It didn’t matter that in more than half of the Nuggets’ postseason losses, they were the significant underdogs. It didn’t matter that the pre- and post-Melo teams were so drastically different from each other (as were the expectations attached to each), that it was unfair to lump both together as though they were related. All that mattered was George Karl represented the status quo, and Nuggets fans were tired of it.

Karl was a veteran coach, through and through, and as such he had many of the typical vices that afflict coaches in this vein. He was obsessed with “win now” and the rookies on his team payed the price for that philosophy with their development and their playing time. Karl had little time for projects such as JaVale McGee, and refused to start him against management’s wishes. He had a torrent love affair with Andre Miller that to this day remains unexplainable. His offensive system usually boiled down to some variations of “run” and “run faster” while certain situations occasionally shed some unfortunate light on his shaky rotations.

And yet.

And yet he hasn’t coached a losing team since 1988 and was at the helm for many of Denver’s greatest moments as a franchise. He’s won over 1,000 games in his career and was as successful with Carmelo Anthony on his team as he was without him, if not more so. He guided the Nuggets to their best season in history, and did it with a team constructed solely of players he helped develop and cast-offs he made fit better in Denver than anywhere else. He was continually handed flawed rosters yet he made the most of them, helping these teams to overachieve more often than not, only for the weight of his own hand-crafted fan expectations to crush him in the playoffs.

So now things have finally changed and for the first time since 2005 the Denver Nuggets are going to be coached by someone other than George Karl. With the architect of last season’s roster let go and the leader throughout the years now fired, the status quo is officially gone. But where does it leave Denver?

Tanking isn’t an option. Even if Iguodala departs and Gallinari takes a leave of absence the entire season the roster is still nowhere near bad enough to out-lose the dredges of the league. Those who think this is merely a minor blow-up, a lateral move the Nuggets are making on their way to true contention, are sadly mistaken. Letting the orchestrator of a 57-win roster go and firing the head coach who got them there is not the move of an ownership who believes in the makeup of the team; its a move of one who believes they need to rebuild.

But what, exactly, are they rebuilding? And how are they going to go about it?

This team is now a rudderless ship who’s lost its captain, and instead of completely sinking (which is usually preferable), its headed straight for a giant iceberg of mediocrity. This time next season Denver could very well find itself in the dreaded Bucks/Jazz territory of the last couple years, on the periphery of the playoff hunt with a semi-gifted roster and no direction.

The much maligned status quo is gone and that pesky monotony of mid to high playoff seeds every year (albeit the painful postseason losses that usually followed as well) is in the wind. The future is uncertain for the first time in a while and this has lead to rejoice in significant portions of Nuggets Nation. But in this futurity lies an abyss, a void that could send Denver toiling through the mires of mediocrity under a more ownership-freindly coach and a more “cost-effective” plan for years to come. I hope you’re happy now, because the more happiness you will soon crave may not come so easily.

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David Walker

Freshman at FSU. Love the Nuggets, the beach, and the game that involves a ball that occasionally goes into the hoop.
  • joefresco

    Well, from my perspective, we were always mired in mediocrity. For most of those first round losses, we were the 7th or 8th seed… but even when higher, it still didn’t matter.

    So while I felt a twinge of nervousness about what was going on with the Nuggets because of the now-complete overhaul of the management, it really just stems from losing Masai and wondering if the replacement is going to screw everything up.

    • joefresco

      Oh, and to match fact up to my comment, starting in 2004, here are the Nuggets playoff seeds: 8, 7 (Karl came in in January and turned around a losing team), 3 (but same record as the 8th seeded Kings and lost to the Clippers who had a better record), 6, 8, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3. So we were legitimately in the top of the conference twice… 2013 and 2009. The rest of the time, we were in the bottom rung of playoff teams. So it’s not like we’ve had amazing regular seasons.

    • Clive Lee

      in a league where close to half the teams make the playoffs, the Nuggets were the very definition of mediocrity, losing in first round 8 out of 9 seasons. We can definitely tank next year; just trade away some veterans for more picks / expiring contracts and play the young guys. (e.g. trade andre miller and play fournier).

  • heykyleinsf

    Well .. hope you don’t mind .. but before I slit my wrists.. I am going to go ahead and see who the new coach and GM are.. what we do in draft, offseason and FA.. and go ahead and watch a few games. Hope you don’t mind.

    • DavidRMC

      By all means. Perhaps things change for the better and this is a big move in a process we will all look back on as being necessary to grow. But if things go in the other directions (and I think that direction is becoming more and more likely with every move) I at least am going to miss the George Karl status quo.

      • sherlock

        You’re going to miss a great regular season and a first round exit? I dunno about you, but it’s more depressing to me to watch my favorite team all year tear through teams in the regular season and then look like chumps in the first round where it matters the most. Status quo isn’t a good thing my man, yeah it sells some tickets and creates hype, but when it comes down to it I don’t want to watch the same thing happen 8 years in a row! Each year hoping this is the year things change, things can’t change if you “keep the status quo.” If the end goal is a championship or at least the finals, you have to be smart enough to realize when it’s time to shake things up a little.

        • Daniel Winston

          It would be better to not make the playoffs and get a lottery pick if your only going to lose EVERY year anyway. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward in the future. See Tim Duncan in SA.

    • Daniel Winston

      What a strange, unbalanced view point.

  • sherlock

    Cast aways and misfits? Say what? Lawson-No Iggy-No Gallo-No Chandler-No McGee-No Fariad-Dropped in the draft we were in the 20’s we took a shot on him and paid off if he didn’t succeed nobody would care because where we took him. Brewer-Maybe a cast off? Dallas just refused to pay anyone last year so they let him walk, our gain. Andre Miller? Misfit big time and we should have cast him away long ago.

    So I fail to see how Karl took a team of misfits as you say and turned them into a magical 57 win team. The truth is this a DEEP, TALENTED roster, undeniable. No we don’t have a super star, we have unselfish team of guys who want to win. I don’t think anybody is denying that Karl coached a good team to a great record. Where we are frustrated is his refusal to develop our young talent. Had Nene not been traded last year Fariad would have sat the bench like Fournier did all year, like JHam has done for 2 years etc etc..Front office paid an athletic big man good money to try and turn him into something and all he could get from the coach was 18 minutes a game, so Karl could prove a point. 57 regular season wins, yay! First round exit again? Come on man, this roster can make the playoffs without a doubt. Losing in the first round every year is mediocre we can do that as a 6,7,8 seed and not be as depressed because we weren’t supposed to advance. We need a new outlook, open mind and commitment to some sort of defense and I bet we at least make the second round with this team.

    • bmac

      I couldn’t agree more. It is heartwrenching to see a team play so well against most of the elite teams all year struggle in the playoffs, and to know that it was as much the fault of the coaching as the players.
      Also, I’m not sure MadMen is a good analogy for most of us, in terms of it not being a good thing: What is the point of any sport if your goal is not to win a championship, and to not be ultimately happy if you fail to achieve that goal when it may have been in your grasp. One thing constantly comes to mind when I look at the failures of the Nuggets, and that is when Karl would explain how many games he expects to win each month. Seriously? I would expect to win them all, even while being realistic that we may not win them all. But that shouldn’t reduce my goal of winning every damn game. And then you look at a potential “other side of the coin” and realize that if Karl didn’t expect to win a game, why didn’t he play more of the team so they could get experience and at least do some growing in the process. We didn’t get either with Karl. I will never deny that he is a good coach, and he had great regular season success, but the regular season is just practice for, and a way to get a ticket to the postseason.

      • sherlock

        Nailed it, agree 100%

  • Poz303

    I very much enjoyed the Nuggets brand of basketball under GK. All the reasons I have heard regarding Josh’s concerns were valid (Poor line-up decisions against GSW, not starting Javale, playing Miller too much and developing Fournier) and GK demanded an extension. Management wanted GK to finish his current contract. So Josh’s hand was forced and he stood by his principles.

  • pgwarner

    Karl started all this by letting the Clippers know he was interested in coaching there.

    • ryanvdonk

      his “always switch” policy on defending the pick and roll didn’t help either…even middle school teams do a better job addressing one of the most common plays in basketball

  • GKDynasty

    First of all, incredible article David. Are you new to RMC? Your article summed up my thoughts from the last few days very eloquently. I mean, what an amazing run we have had under Karl. If anything, we should be thanking Karl for nearly a decade of success. Only 1 other team (the Spurs) has had this many consecutive playoff appearances during this stretch. The Spurs also had Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker. Ya we had Melo, but can anyone honestly say we have had a team constructed that well? I know the early playoff exits have been disappointing but do people honestly think we were title contenders? (maybe the year we reached WCF). Would anyone have felt better losing in the second/third round vs the first round? I just don’t understand the mob mentality when it comes to Karl, and I think people are in for a rude awakening this season.

    The point is, I remember the nuggets pre-Melo/pre-Karl. That’s when things were tough. The Karl era was the greatest stretch in Nuggets history and now we have become a bit spoiled. As much as we want things to be better it’s important to remember that they can always get worse. The one thing I can say for sure about Karl’s time is that we always had an entertaining product. Going into every night I knew there would be intensity and a chance for us to win. For me that is good enough to keep me watching. A championship is what we all want, but only (1) team a year reaches that goal. Seeing as that is very hard to attain, the Nuggets under Karl were the next best thing. I hope the future gets brighter for this team but I honestly don’t see it happening. Hope it’s still as fun this year as it has been for a long time!

    • sherlock

      I agree, the future is a bit murky, maybe even scary. We (nuggets fans) have grown accustomed to a strong regular season, and disappointing playoff runs. If shaking things up a bit means potentially not winning 57 games next year, which is hard to imagine, but developing some of our young guys into reliable rotation players, I’m all for it. I’ll sit through a mediocre season a 7th 8th seed playoff team if that means JHam, McGee, Fournier QMiller, Julian Stone, these super young super athletic guys get some NBA playing time. We have a deep bench right now can you imagine how things would be if Stone had the confidence (and could stay injury free mind you) to be 10-12 pt per game scorer with 8-10 dimes a game. Not to mention play the solid defense he has already shown us. What if JHam got to see the court, he needs to stop chucking up shots every time he touches the ball, but maybe that has something to do with trying to prove he’s a shooter and should get more minutes.

      This is getting long, but the point I’m making is, is sure we could have been a 3, 4, 5 seed in the playoffs with Karl next year, but that matches us up with some tough teams, we couldn’t beat the 6th seed this year, GS is only going to improve. We could keep beating our heads against the wall playing Dre Miller ungodly amounts of time while our young guys become useless assets on the bench only to leave after their contracts expire for more PT elsewhere. I’d take a year of developing this talent into something real, a deep contender that put us in the WC Finals in a heartbeat.

  • Supermag

    I just hope Andre Miller is the next to go and they find some way to get A.I. to stay in Denver for another few years. But I’m afraid that all the free agents are going to shy away from the Nugs with this much uncertainty and immediate change in the organization.

    • heykyleinsf

      from what I’ve gathered.. Andre Miller is a big reason why GK was let go.. along with JaVale McGee.. obviously the former for being played too much and the latter for not being played enough. I would be completely fucking shocked to see Andre Miller back with the Nuggets. I know lately anything is possible.. but I will be physically ill if Miller is back next year. And this is one of the reasons why I am upbeat.. Kroenkes can no longer get past Karl’s favoritism.. And I will tell you one more thing.. that nobody has mentioned.. and I don’t mind getting flamed for this.. But everyone seems to dismiss the Birdman factor. Look what he’s doing right now. Birdman was unceremoniously sat last season.. I was in Sacto to see it all behind the scenes. .that was the beginning of the end.. Say what you want about what ever player like them or not or indifferent.. There are completely obvious issues GK has with being objective about the rosters he coaches.

      • heykyleinsf

        one more quick note.. I am just not buying this “free agents are going to shy away” paranoia.. I can see why people would think that.. but I just don’t. There are only so many roster spots on the Heat, Lakers and Celtics… Every team now.. except two.. are in the same boat. Nuggets had a great season and disappointing end.. but how do you think OKC, Knicks, Clippers and Bulls fans feel like? And I’m on record for not being all in love with Iggy.. hope he comes back and all.. but not to the point of most people.. but still .. he came in last year. I don’t see how we would be more unattractive to someone similar or comparable this year.

        • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

          Iggy didn’t sign here. He was traded. For all we know he hates Denver

  • dynamo.joe

    As long as we are throwing around trite quotes from pop culture, I’ll go with this one.

    “You either get busy living or get busy dying” – Andy Dufresne

    With Karl we were stuck in no man’s land.

    But mostly I just want to throw out my own little conspiracy theory.
    It begins 2 yrs ago when Karl got his extension and the rumor was that Josh and Masai wanted to move on but Daddy Kroenke said “no, GK is my guy”. The next two years we see Masai/Josh (always described as a “partnership”) constantly making moves to ‘moneyball’ Georgie.

    Masai gets a big offer from Toronto but takes a long time to decide to take it. Why? Maybe it wasn’t about the money. Maybe he said “I get to make ALL the basketball decisions, including coach or I will take Toronto’s offer (probably also wanted something north of $2M, I mean who doesn’t like more money?). Well, I have read a couple of places that the 1 thing you don’t do is strong-arm the Kroenke’s, that’s their property and they guard it jealously. So once Masai said “me or George”, Josh said “say hi to Canada for me”.

    Then Josh goes to big daddy Stan and says “look this Karl deal just cost us the best GM in basketball” and daddy relented. Or maybe it was the strong arm thing again. This time with Karl trying to leverage the loss of Masai and the interest of the clippers into the 3 yr team option being extended. Either way, it was the loss of Masai that gave Josh the ability to do what he wanted all along, get rid of Karl.

  • dynamo.joe

    Oh ya, if the Masai/josh partnership stories were true, there will not be a rebuild. If the develop the young guys stories are true, there won’t be a rebuild. If Josh likes the personnel we have, he won’t bring in a coach who plans on running a half court system.

  • Ricardo

    George Karl needed to leave. If this team had the right coach, they
    would have beaten the Warriors in the first-round. First of all, the
    nuggets have to keep its core together to see how they would do with a
    new coach next season. Iguodala may want to leave, but they could do a sign-and-trade with the team that he wants to go to so they would not lose him for nothing.

  • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

    I don’t understand how people can be happy with “good enough”

    Sure, the “success” we’ve had the last couple years is better than being in the lottery every year, (then again, maybe not look at Cleveland), but how can you be satisfied with how things have been?

    I guess I’m just wired to want all or nothing, but I mean, we’ve gotten NOTHING out of the last 10 years. Sure, being in the playoffs every years is a good thing, but to be bounced in the first round is no fun.

    Just think about this.

    2012-2013 57-25 #3 seed George Karl & no title
    2013-2014 0-82 no playoffs at all New Coach & no title, but a top 5 pick.

    What’s better?

    • Qmill30

      yeah i’m sort of the same. I’d rather do 4 years in the lottery if it meant we came out the other side with a couple legitimate stars. You look at the NBA and as everyone knows you need stars to win and it’s very very rare you find them outside the lottery. So if we don’t drop down then we’re basically relying on our guys turning into stars (not gonna happen. we might have a couple of decent #2 or #3 options on a contender but no #1) or we are looking to trade for a #1 and they very rarely become available. And they usually want to go to big markets.

      I sort of want to see us blow it up. We have so many assets we could have a much quicker rebuild than a lot of the current bottom dwellers. And the 2014 draft is the one to do it.

      • dynamo.joe

        This is a stupid argument with no evidence to back it up. In fact there is evidence that says the exact opposite is true. That evidence is the Charlotte Bobcats.

        Additionally there is Kenneth Faried. Does he have holes in his game? Yes. Is he an All-star anyway? Yes, he will go to multiple All-Star games.

        He is likely to get starters minutes next year if the “play the young guys” tweets are correct. That makes him a 20 and 15 guy and a lock for the all-star game.

        The only star taken in the lottery this year will be Oladipo. And he isn’t likely to go 1st. Maybe Olynyk, but his stock is falling right now.

        The teams in the lottery are run by morons who can’t evaluate talent. That’s why the are in the lottery. The result is they don’t take the guys who can actually play. The only exceptions are transcendent guys like Shaq/Lebron/Anthony Davis. Guys that even the blind, deaf, and stupid can recognize.

        • Qmill30

          Wow, it’s stuff like this that makes me never want to be involved in comment sections. I guess I’ll just read the blog and get out next time.

          The evidence? Go look at a list of NBA champions and you’ll find most have drafted their best players in the lottery or acquired them because they are a big, attractive market. We are a mid-sized market. No big FA is likely to sign with us. So that pretty much leaves the lottery (unless you can trade for a star which I suggested in my previous post, but there aren’t really any young stars available)

          Kenneth Faried is not an all-star. I love the guy and he projects well but you never know he might stagnate. You just can’t tell these things. But that’s not the point – in my previous post I said we have quite a few options decent #2 or #3 options on the team (translation: lower level all-stars, borderline all-stars) this includes Faried, Lawson, Iggy and Gallo. But what I’m saying is we don’t have that #1 guy. And 20 and 15 for Kenny? Well I hope so but I’m very doubtful of that. If you take his per 36 numbers from last year he would have 15 and 12. That would be a very steep improvement (not taking into consideration he is an energy guy that may drop off if given 36 minutes so he’s averages are even less than last years per36 numbers – it’s possible)

          So you scout college basketball now? So you are telling me Oladipo is the only star in this draft? I’ll let you in on a secret – nobody knows. Not because all the teams and experts are morons, because it’s really hard to predict. You can have a good feel but unless they are a transcendent star you can’t know for sure. But guess what transcendent stars win championships. So yes Denver playing lottery could take some time if they don’t get lucky but basically that’s how small to mid sized markets win NBA championships.

          And note I never mentioned the 2013 draft, I (and everybody and their dog) realize this draft looks pretty bare. Although there will be a couple of stars, we just don’t know who and most likely no super stars. I said the 2014 draft is the time to do it. According to the buzz, next year has transcendent super star potential.

          And and to say that all teams in the lottery are run by morons that can’t evaluate talent is ridiculous.

          But seriously, the real morons are in comment sections, which would also make me a moron as of now, so I’m done with them.

          • dynamo.joe

            No, you are right, I fucked up the Faried numbers. Though I would still argue he gets most improved or all-star selection, just by getting 8 more minutes a game.

            But your conjecture that the lottery leads to greatness is still wrong and even transcendent players can’t make up for the stupidity of the GM. Look at the Cavs, 6 consecutive lottery picks including 1 of the top 10 players of all time and it amounted to nothing.

            • Mikey K

              Yes, the Cavs are run by the 1c most ignorant moron in basketball, Dan Gilbert (sharing #1 with Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver in Phoenix), but that doesn’t mean that ALL lottery teams are run by morons. Dallas was in the lottery this year. Are you telling me Mark Cuban’s a moron? They’re two years removed from hanging a banner. They had a hiccup that Cuban WILL fix.

              Is RC Buford a moron? He’s got 4 rings to show his shrewdness for playing NBA lotto. How about Sam Presti in OKC?

              I have a hard time believing that the Nuggets will miss the playoffs this season. They may be in the 5-8 range, but they won’t beat out the Charlottes, Washingtons, and Detroits of the NBA to suck bad enough to pick #1. I also believe that even with teams like Houston, Dallas, even Minnesota getting better, they’ll miss the playoffs in the West. That would take losing Ty for significant games to happen.

              • dynamo.joe

                Cuban a moron, no, that can’t be. He had a small window with a fading star (Dirk) and rather than defend the title he let his other players go (Tyson) or forced them to leave (Kidd).

                RC Buford hasn’t been in the lottery since they got Timmy. And the only reason they were in the lottery that year was because Robinson missed the entire season. So, no Buford is not a moron and that’s why he isn’t in the lottery. The reason that have four rings is because of his ability to find talent outside the lottery.

        • Mikey K

          And if you want evidence of the draft working, I will point you to last year’s WC Champs, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the 4 (soon to be 5) time champion San Antonio Spurs. Their core players were all draft picks that they developed.

          Your argument is probably the most asinine thing I’ve read on this blog.

          • dynamo.joe

            Won nothing and traded away 1 of 2 good players they picked up in the lottery. Yep, that’s a fantastic tale of success.

            • Mikey K

              And were a freak injury to their star PG from a probable return to the Finals.

              Sorry, not buying it.

              • dynamo.joe

                What you shouldn’t buy is Russell Westbrook as a star. He is good, but if Durant wasn’t there to patch up his shortcomings he would be just be a lotsa points on a bad team guy.

                He took 100 more shots than Durant and scored 60 fewer FGs. I’m not saying he is a bad player, but he certainly doesn’t live up to the hype.

              • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

                You lose.

                Just stop already. lmao

  • Qmill30

    I’d like to see Andre Miller traded and replaced with someone like Isaiah Canaan who could be available at 27 and I think can be a really really good scoring backup (and he can shoot).

    But if Miller stays with us for one reason or another, I think he’ll be used more like the front office initially envisioned, as 12-15 minute a game back-up. From what’s been out there as many have seen, Miller’s playing time was an issue with the front office.

    So if we keep Iggy and decide to move forward with this core –

    – I hope we trade Miller and draft Canaan
    – Let Brewer walk, let Fournier, Hamilton, Q Mill, FA shooter fight it out for his minutes
    – Don’t know if we can afford Redick or Korver but maybe sign Morrow or Dunleavy or some cheap shooter. Could be tricky with money and playing time

    – Let Mozgov go
    – Mcgee to start. I actually like him playing alongside Faried and Lawson

    • dynamo.joe

      See, this is exactly the kind of dumb I’m talking about. If you are going to pick a guy just because he scored a lot of points, pick the guy who scored the most points. That’s Erick Green.

      Green outscored Canaan. Had a better AST/TOV ratio. A high eFG%. He is a couple of inches taller. Basically a better prospect by every measure.

      Personally, I wouldn’t take any PG in this draft. Trey Burke and Erick Green are the best of them and I project them as good backups on a good team or starters on a lottery team.

      If you were dead set on taking a PG in this draft, you should have called Jalan West, freshman outta Northwestern State and told him “if you declare for the draft I guarantee you’ll be drafted either late 1st if we can’t trade back for an extra pick or late 2nd if we can trade back, but you will be drafted”. He is only 5’10” so, undersized but he outplayed every PG in the NCAA as a freshman.

      • Fraser Nixon

        Sorry but we don’t need anyone smaller than Ty on the team. Ty’s height is already a huge shortcoming (HA!). Guys like Curry can shoot over him like he’s not even there. Unless he has like a 6’8″ wingspan then he’s only going to add to our woes defending the 3pt line

        • dynamo.joe

          Well, I think he’s only 19, so he COULD still grow, maybe.

          Also, I said I wouldn’t take a PG in this draft because there are no good point guards in this draft.

          Aside from Burke, all of the “top PG’s” are undersized 2 guards trying to convince NBA teams that they can transition to point.

  • Fraser Nixon

    For the arguments saying that we should blow it up and look for a star in the 2014 draft, there’s no way we could do that.

    #1 there is NO WAY we can suck worse than the bobcats, magic, suns, any of those cellar dwellars. no way. our roster is built too well and if we try reeeeeeeeeeeeeally hard we might end up with the 10th seed in the west, giving us maybe a top 10 pick, but no where near the Wiggins sweepstakes.

    #2 so we have to trade into the high lottery to get a star (Wiggins, Parker etc), but here’s the thing, if a team sucks, and they know they suck. There’s no way in hell they are giving up a shot at Wiggins or Parker. No crap team is trading their draft pick to us in exchange for some good players who aren’t stars. Unfortunately for us, the Denver Nuggets aren’t the only team looking for superstar talent!

    This is the best team we have had in years, and if we can hang on to Iggy it will remain the best team in years. The best chance for a long playoff run is to keep the team intact, maybe a few small adjustments (Andre Miller I’m looking at you) and hope everyone is healthy come playoffs.

    We can’t just blow it up, we aren’t bad enough to justify it, or bad enough to successfully follow through on a full rebuild.

  • dynamo.joe

    Team Lot. Picks W/team/effective
    atlanta 8 1
    Boston 9 1
    Brooklyn 7 1
    Charlotte 8 1
    Chicago 10 2
    Cleveland 12 2
    Dallas 4 0
    Denver 4 0
    Detroit 6 2
    GSW 14 2
    Houston 8 0
    Indiana 6 2
    LAC 15 1
    LAL 1 0
    Memphis 12 1
    Miami 3 1
    Milwaukee 11 0
    Minnesota 11 1
    NOH 8 1
    New York 5 0
    OKC 9 3
    Orlando 8 0
    Philadelphia 7 2
    Phoenix 6 0
    Portland 7 1
    Sacramento 9 2
    San Antonio 1 1
    Toronto 12 1
    Utah 6 2
    Washington 8 2

    • Qmill30

      These numbers have zero relevance. Orlando won the lottery in 1992 and took Shaq. He is no longer on the team. That was one trip to the lottery.

      Therefore according to the implied logic of your figures, Shaq= Failure

      • dynamo.joe

        Shaq did equal failure for Orlando. How many titles has Orlando got? What they picked up 2 hall of fame Centers and still got nothing? I don’t believe that’s possible. End sarcasm.

        I’m not saying it’s impossible to pick up talent in the lottery. I’m saying it’s a lie that it’s a reasonable way to build a championship team. You need more than a Shaq or a Lebron or a Dwight or a Durant.

        None of those guys have won anything with the teams that drafted them, because it takes more than 1 guy. But if you are in the lottery it’s because you don’t know how to evaluate talent. So you get really, really lucky, draft your mortal lock for the hall of fame, surround him with crap cuz you can’t find talent outside of the number 1 pick and he walks, because you can’t get him any help.

        That’s the history of the nba.

  • airvaid

    So whose excited for 30+ minutes of JaVale next year? Atleast Nuggets matches will get better ratings. Like one those reality, which is soo bad it’s funny to watch.

    TNT, might give Shaq his own show since he’s gonna have so much material to work with.

    • Philip

      I’m ready. I think JaVale could be pretty good with some time for development. Give him some faith. Love that dude.

      • sherlock

        agreed give him a chance, if he can’t handle it somebody will take him off our hand ala Nene. But we have to TRY to develop him before we know what he is/isnt

  • Cullen

    Everyone on here talking about how the Nuggets will tank or should tank to get stars. Are you kidding me?!?! I mean, seriously. You are the kind of fans that validate all the fears of the pro-Karl people. The Nuggets have a deep roster, sure we don’t have a superstar that can absolutely dominate the game, but we had 5-6 players that could score 20 points on any given night. We had a deeper rotation with more talent than most teams.

    Ty Lawson: With a few years and continued development, he could be that superstar. He’s an offensive beast of a player. He can shoot from down town, orchastrate a run and gun offense, and can finish tremendously. Sure, he’s not a stellar player on defense but in the right system he could play defense a little bit better. He’s our leader, and a damn fine player.

    Gallo: A developing two way player. Can play some pretty good perimeter defense and is a shooter and slasher.

    Chandler: Can be a slasher with an outside shot. I like him, I think he’s underrated.

    Faried: High energy rebounder that is developing some offense and defensive game.

    Iggy: Obviously a tremendous defensive player and leader. Can shoot and score, but it’s a high volume scorer.

    Plus we had great bench assets, so stop with the tanking every year thing. Karl doesn’t make a lottery team into a 3rd seed in a year. No way this team is in a lottery, not even a shot.

    Promote our assistant GM and get Shaw, Hollins, Joerger, or Van Gundy. There are tons of coaches that would complement our roster and improve our team. So stop with the tanking shit, if you’re okay tanking then that is not okay. Sure, maybe falling back to a 5-6-7 seed, maybe… top five lottery pick. No.