ASPEN - We die-hard Denver Nuggets fans have suffered through too much for too long.
Thursday's road loss to Portland was especially difficult to stomach, as the Nuggets clanked and rolled to an 0-22 outing from beyond the three-point line, a new NBA record that eclipsed the one set by the Blazers one week ago.
This is getting ridiculous. Ever since I became a Nuggets follower - eight days ago and counting - the team has gone 3-1 but should be 4-0. The pain from Thursday's loss still stings, and it threatens to spoil my entire weekend unless the Nuggs (that's short for Nuggets, wink, wink) prevail Saturday over the Charlotte Bobcats.
A loss Saturday, and the entire holidays could spiral into a depressing abyss. A win would help lift spirits, but then there's the looming anxiety of the Nuggets' Christmas Day tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers. And so it goes.
My transformation into Nuggethood took place Dec. 14 in Denver, when my son and I attended our first game at the Pepsi Center. Basketball has become my son's favorite sport to play, and there's no better way to appreciate NBA players than to see them up close, in person.
The Nuggets franchise knows how to put on a show. From their mascot Rocky's high-flying antics to a lively home crowd, and a win by the Nuggets over a pesky Memphis squad, the Pepsi Center has everything a fan needs - except Coca-Cola. (Next time we'll smuggle some in.)
Even so, seeing the Nuggets in person was the nudge my son and I needed to hop on the team train. With no emotional attachment to any NBA team, we have pledged our phony allegiance to the Denver Nuggets.
It also helps that my fellow worker Stewart is the resident pundit on all things Nuggets. He's actually been rather pathetic over the years, recapping the previous night's Nuggets debacle, or miracle, to anyone who would listen. No one really has.
Well, Stewart is lonely no more.
When I walked into the office Friday morning to bemoan the Nuggs' futility from behind the three-point arc, he replied, "Get used to it."
Still, there's hope. The Nuggs are a young squad that will take their lumps this year, but I'm pretty sure they'll surprise some people down the road. Spoken like a true fan.