George Karl has often said this season that without tremendous effort the Denver Nuggets are an average team at best. By effort Coach Karl means diving for loose balls, closing down passing lanes, and of course maintaining the break neck transition speed that is Karl’s signature style. If I may, I would add to this an overall pride and passion for the game itself. Yes, there are extreme talents in this league and in life for that matter; the folks that just show up and somehow get it done. Even with these select few you are sometimes left wondering, what if they worked a little harder? Well, that what if, equals your “total package” guys. Also an extremely select group, these are your Magic’s, Bird’s, and Jordan’s.
The Nuggets have shown in glimpses this season why one extraordinary talent is nice but not necessary. Wednesday’s win over the Portland Trailblazers got me thinking. Whether you’re a Nuggets fan or not, with two starters and a legitimate 6th-man on the injured list it would be almost expected that the Nuggets would struggle. However, seeing the spirit and will of the remaining Nuggets made my night. The hustle, energy and intensity of the Nuggets Wednesday reminded me why I love this game so much.
The most difficult thing to do in this league is to find the will to play at Wednesday’s level, night in and night out. You can love the hell out of your job, but rocking and rolling at 100 percent, 100 percent of the time is very close to impossible. That is when your team becomes invaluable. Maybe Ty is not totally on it tonight, but Andre is. When Ty sees Andre on his game it’s just the kick in the pants he needed. Effort and lazy are equally contagious, words to remember on the court and in life. Will there be lazy days? Yes, but there is a cure. With a little self-awareness you too can turn a lazy day into a productive one. I am inspired by the Nuggets and hope that I too can avoid being average, as a reporter, wife and mother, by adding just a little more elbow grease.