Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

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Denver Nuggets Team History

In 1967, Denver was awarded a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association. Originally named the Denver Larks, the team changed its name to the Denver Rockets before playing its first game. The team would later change its name once again to the Denver Nuggets in 1974. Following a successful run in the ABA that culminated in an appearance in the final ABA championship series, the Nuggets would officially join the NBA after the ABA’s merger in 1976. They would go on to have a run of success in the NBA, though the team is still looking for its first appearance in the NBA Finals.

Denver Nuggets Championships

The Denver Nuggets are still searching for their first championship. The Nuggets came closest in 1976 while still playing in the ABA when they competed for the final ABA championship but fell short, falling to the New York Nets. The Nuggets qualified for the playoffs nine years in a row in the 1980s and had another run of 10 consecutive trips to the postseason from 2004 to 2013 but has been unable to make a trip back to the championship series.

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Denver Nuggets Famous Players and Hall of Famers

After joining the NBA, Alex English was one of the first stars to help raise the Denver Nuggets to prominence, spending the bulk of his 15-year NBA career with the Nuggets from 1980 to 1990. English earned eight NBA All-Star selections during his career, all coming in a Nuggets uniform, and was the NBA’s scoring champion in 1983. English still holds several franchise records with the Nuggets in points scored (21,645), assists (3,679), and minutes played (29,893). English also ranks fourth in rebounds (4,686), third in steals (854), and fifth in blocks (624).

Dikembe Mutombo was one of the fiercest defenders in the league during his playing career, which began in Denver. Mutombo was named to eight All-Star teams, with three coming during his tenure in Denver. Mutombo led the league in blocked shots three times and in rebounds twice while earning four NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Mutombo is the Nuggets all-time blocks leader with 1,486 blocks and ranks third in rebounding with 4,811 and 20th on the Nuggets all-time scoring list with 5,054 points.

Hall of Fame player Dan Issel began his career with the Kentucky Colonels but was later sent to the Denver Nuggets, where he would play the remainder of his career. Issel would be named an ABA All-Star six times and make the NBA All-Star team once in 1977. Paired with Alex English during the 1980s, Issel helped lead the Nuggets to several postseason appearances. Issel ranks second on the Nuggets all-time scoring list behind Alex English with 16,589 points and is the franchise’s rebounding leader with 6,630 boards. Issel is also seventh in franchise history in assists (2,005), fourth in steals (798), and second in minutes played (25,198).

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