Opening the 2023-24 NBA season against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers would have been big enough news by itself, but tonight there is more.

The team will probably come running out onto the court as the DJ blasts Tobe Nwigwe’s song “Fye Fye.” Flashing lights will shoot across the darkened arena like a European dance club. The Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic, will probably say a few words. And the Championship banner will slowly be hoisted to the rafters to deafening applause.

But we are no longer just the Denver Nuggets.

We are the reigning World Champion Denver Nuggets – and we’re coming for more!

Undoubtedly, there will be some hungry competitors coming for our title, so bring it on.

The Nuggets already showed they can handle the Heat. The Mavericks are good but we’re the Top Gun. Jokers beats Kings. The Bucks stops here. And if you think Philly is winning it, you’re missing the point.

Did you see Jamal Murray in the playoffs last year? I haven’t seen a Canadian that hot since Justin Bieber guest starred on Ellen.

How about Aaron Gordon? Or as I call him, Flash Gordon. He’s like a comic book action hero, that when it comes to All-Star votes or All-Defensive Team votes – everyone has forgotten about.

Credit via TMDB

And then there’s the real MVP – Nikola Jokic. With his baby fat and his slow moves, you would think that his triple-doubles referred to scoops and portion size. But he’s all game.

A look at the contenders, the pretenders, and why the Nuggets are going back-to-back.

• Miami had their shot, but apparently, they don’t have a Dolla Store in South Beach.

• It’s not quite South Beach, but if Damian Lillard gets a nice cabin with a little sand near Nagawicka Lake in Waukesha County, he could still pretend.

• I feel bad for Damian Lillard. He could have teamed up with Jimmy Butler in Miami and it would have been like Rico and Tubbs. Now he’s in Milwaukee with Giannis, and it’s more like Laverne and Shirley.

Credit via Wikipedia

• Ironically, Laverne and Shirley worked for Shotz Brewery.

• The Boston Celtics aren’t winning a title. With Jason Tatum, Jrue Holliday, Jalen Brown, and Derrick White, all they needed was a defensive big man to help guard Joel Embiid, Giannis, and Jokic when needed – and instead they got Kristaps Porzingis. Do they call Porzingis the Unicorn because of his unique skillset as a 7’3 player that shoots deep threes? Or because no one really believes in him.

• The Lakers have to admit that Lebron James is finally getting old. Some nights he may look like Michael Jordan, other nights he may look like DeAndre Jordan.

• New Orleans and Zion Williamson could be a threat as long as Zion stays away from eating and Bourbon Street – or eating Bourbon Street.

• Zion should mirror his game after KCP – not KFC. Talk about Load Management.

• You know the Memphis Grizzlies are in trouble when they had to explain to Ja Morant that the new Load Management Rules had nothing to do with his firearms.

• And that the saying is Defense Wins Championships – not Defendants.

• Is Kyrie Irving really going to be on good behavior for an entire year? I’m pretty sure that in this Shark Tank, Mark Cuban invested in the wrong product.

• I’m worried about Golden State. I’m afraid that every time Steph Curry turns to face the crowd before his three-pointer goes in – he’ll see Draymond Green punching a teammate or his dad dating another 28-year-old.

• Kevin Durant is 35, Eric Gordon is 34, and Bradley Beal is 30. Do the Phoenix Suns play at the Footprint Center, or the Sunny Hills Retirement home?

Image via Sports Illustrated

• I’m not too worried about the San Antonio Spurs. The only player I can name on that team is Victor Wembanyama. And even his pronunciation I struggle with.

• James Harden – Can’t win with him, can’t win without him. Milwaukee has Fear the Deer, the 76ers have Fear the Beard, especially when it comes to trade value and contract negotiations.

• Wait. Does not showing up to any practices or media day a Load Management violation?

• I understand that the new Load Management Policy helps ensure that star players are showing up for the fans. But shouldn’t Ben Simmons be able to fight that charge?

Image via Wikipedia

Remember – it’s not the Denver Nuggets. It’s the reigning World Champion Denver Nuggets.

Images via KUNC, TMDB, Wikipedia, Sports Illustrated.

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship