Well, the Denver Nuggets completed their championship journey making quick work of the underdog Miami Heat. Let’s not kid ourselves, either. You’ll hear people in the media and among fans claiming they knew the Nuggets had this run in ‘em. Real talk, unless you’re from Denver or live within the confines of the state of Colorado, you didn’t have this Nuggets squad winning squat. Stop it with your revisionist history. Especially those of you (mainly on ESPN) who now want to attach the word dynasty to the Denver Nuggets. It’s a tad bit early for that.
On Monday afternoon, just hours before Denver clinched its first title in franchise history, Max Kellerman was already posing the dynasty question. It’s always funny how we’re constantly looking for who can dethrone them when we have a living, breathing dynasty. Any one-off team that comes along within the same time frame, we begin planting seeds for the next dynasty, and it rarely unfolds the way many (especially the media) project it to.
Two years ago, it was all about the Milwaukee Bucks and how many titles they were set to win over the next few years. A couple years removed from the Bucks’ first championship in over half a century, that same team went down in flames as the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, in the first round to the Miami Heat. The team Denver just dominated to capture the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Everyone wants to be the first to predict the next Warrior-esque dynasty. The fact of the matter is no one predicted Golden State back in 2015. That entire era was supposed to have been easy pickings for LeBron James once he returned to Cleveland. Obviously, James and the Cavs had great success but were only able to win one title. That’s hardly the dynasty they were projected to become.
Predicting a dynasty is rare, although we are in the business of prognosticating. However, in the Nuggets, there is a link to the NBA’s most recent dynasty in Golden State. Nuggets head coach Mike Malone was an assistant in the early days of the Warriors’ core group coming together. Malone was on Mark Jackson’s staff in Golden State from 2011-13, working closely with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Obviously, it’s a small link, and Steve Kerr wasn’t there at the time, but it’s still a link to the foundation of that dynasty. Some would even say Malone did most of the coaching for those young Warriors. Undoubtedly, the experience Malone gained working with Golden State and other stops along the way made it possible for him to lead the Nuggets to a title a decade later.
But as great as all that might be, the talk of a dynasty is certainly premature. Sure, there are hours of sports programming to fill 365 days a year now, round the clock, so of course, this subject will come up, especially over the next week or two. So, let’s chill out and allow the city and organization in Denver to enjoy their accomplishment. Very few outside Denver thought they could do it, and they’ve proved most of us wrong. So, let’s simmer down just when it comes to that “D” word we all love to toss around.