What is a squad? By definition, a squad is, “a small group of people having a particular task.” Some people hear the word “squad” and their minds will go to Taylor Swift and her squad. I hear that word and I think of two different squads– mine (est. 2013 where the four of us were deemed as the “Quad Squad”) and our current Denver Nuggets team. To me, a squad isn’t just a group of friends or teammates. To me, a squad means that you’re a family and when you’re part of a family, you have one another’s backs no matter what.
I’ve always been a lover, not a fighter, but that mindset changes when I step foot on the court, and then you’ll see me feisty as ever. I’ll never forget when I was playing and took an intentional elbow to the eye, breaking blood vessels and giving me a pretty nasty black eye so bad that I couldn’t see out of it within minutes but I didn’t back down. I never do. I’ll never forget that our starting guards, one of which who just happened to be my cousin (hey, we grew up in a small town), and center jumped to my defense. Other than the elbow, no other blows were thrown, but having them come to my defense made me feel like they would always be there for me.
When I turn my thoughts about “squads” to the Nuggets, I think of Alonzo Gee getting between Danilo Gallinari and James Harden when the Rockets visited town and Jusuf Nurkic getting ready to leave the bench to jump to Gallo’s side. I was at that game and I remember getting chills when the Nuggets were jumping or getting ready to jump to support Danilo. I think of Darrell Arthur getting between Jusuf Nurkic and John Wall when we were visiting the Wizards with Jameer Nelson and Will Barton at the ready as well.
The camaraderie within this team is apparent and these guys prove it when they stand at one another’s sides when one of them are about to get into a scuffle on the court. While there hasn’t been a full on fight, you can tell that if something goes down on the court, they will be more than happy to support and be at their teammates side in a heartbeat and fight for them if it ever came down to that.
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother” -From Shakespeare’s Henry V, 1598
When our own Nuggets went on their long road trip back in December, Jameer Nelson rented a bus and took the team to his childhood home where his mom had cooked and the team were able to bond. The team was able to continue building their bond when they took a ten hour flight to London and spent five days there together. The guys did everything from have custom suits made for them to touring the Arsenal Stadium to working with NBA Cares. The guys were able to explore the city and spend a large amount of time together as they continued to create brotherly bonds, which ultimately led to the Nuggets getting a 140-112 win over the Pacers at the O2 Arena.
With the team being gone for nearly a week, we can only hope that they come back refreshed, not feeling too jet lagged, and ready to make a solid push through the rest of the season. With the trade deadline coming up, we could be in for some surprises but ultimately we need to focus on the “band of brothers” that we have now. With a team full of talent and only being a game behind the eighth seed, we truly do have a real opportunity to make the playoffs if we continue to build our bonds. These guys have been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout this season but after what we saw in London, the only way to go from here is up.