Denver Nuggets Details
The Denver Nuggets started as a member of the ABA in 1967. The team was originally called the Larks but changed their name to the Rockets before they played in their first game. The Denver Rockets changed their name yet again as the ABA began to struggle and the team expected to move to the NBA, where the Houston Rockets had a better claim to the name. They took the Nuggets name from a defunct pro basketball franchise that played in Denver between 1948 and 1950. The Nuggets played in the last ABA championship series, losing to the (then) New York Nets.
The Nuggets have not won a championship in either the ABA or the NBA, and they have not been to an NBA Finals series. They had some success in the 1990s after drafting Dikembe Mutombo. In the 1994 playoffs, the Nuggets became the first 8th seed to defeat a 1st seed in the NBA, defeating the Seattle Supersonics in game five of a best-of-five series. Mutombo’s #55 is retired by the team.
At the beginning of the current millennium, the Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony. With surrounding talent like Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets won 50 games in 2008 (with Iverson) and made their deepest run in the playoffs in 2009 (with Billups), making the Western Conference Final. The Nuggets traded Anthony to New York in 2011.
The Nuggets narrowly missed the playoffs last season, finishing in the 9th spot in the West. Their most notable addition this summer is all-star Paul Millsap, who they signed as a free agent to a three year contract. They’ll also look for center Nikola Jokic to build on an impressive sophomore season where he nearly won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
The Nuggets play at the Pepsi Center, which opened in 1999.