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LeBron, the Nuggets, and the mascot who poops lightning

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My obsession with LeBron James is no secret. After spending 27 years ignorant of everything sports-related, I fell head over heels for the King while living in Cleveland, and watching one absurdly talented athlete lift an entire city from its jobless, weather-beaten depression. It got so bad that I once dreamed I was married to His Highness. There is no need to elaborate.

So last Friday night, knowing that it was LeBron's birthday and he would be in Denver to play the Nuggets, some friends visiting from New York suggested we go to the game. Fabulous idea, except that we didn't think of it until 3 p.m. By that time, the cheap, nose-bleed seats we craved had mostly disappeared online at Nuggets.com, and three seats together were impossible.

Luckily, the economy sucks, and even a match-up between Carmelo and LeBron (plus free headband night!) could not sell out the Pepsi Center. We got to the arena a little before 7 p.m., and had no trouble scoring three $36 seats from the box office. You could almost hear the legions of scalpers on the sidewalk begging for a bailout.

The game, of course, was awesome. I can't tell you a thing the Nuggets did, but it was a blow-out for the Cavs. Every time I cheered for my beloved team, the little girl in front of me who was trying to enjoy a wholesome, bonding evening with her dad and the hometown team, turned around and glared. She will hate me and LeBron forever.

My New York friends, meanwhile, were mystified by the strange rituals of Nuggets fans. What's up with the mascot who poops lightning? they wondered.  Poor Rocky the Mountain Lion.  He just couldn't compete with LeBron. -- Lisa Rab

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