The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA) but changed its name to Rockets before the first season. The same year, an NBA expansion franchise named the San Diego (now Houston) Rockets began play. After seven seasons, and with entry into the NBA looming, Denver team officials renamed their club. Nuggets refers to the 19th century mining boom in Colorado, when people rushed to the area, hoping to make their fortunes by panning for gold and silver nuggets. The name was changed again to the Nuggets in 1974, and played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets.
The team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where it lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, it has not made an appearance in a championship round since its last year in the ABA. The Nuggets play their home games at Pepsi Center, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Let’s look at some of the outstanding talents who have played for the Nuggets over the years. Alex English played for the Nuggets for ten years. An eight-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA Second Team pick and 1983 scoring champion, Alex led the Nuggets to nine straight postseason appearances and a berth to the 1985 Western Conference Finals.
David Thompson was one of the most explosive guards to ever play the game. In the six seasons after Denver moved to the NBA, Thompson was a three-time NBA All-Star, MVP of the 1979 All-Star Game and a two-time All-NBA First Team selection. Thompson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 and is one of only five players to score more than 70 points in a game.
Tt only took Carmelo Anthony seven-and-a-half seasons to reach 13,970 points, which is third best in Nuggets history. With his ability to shoot from the outside, create his own shot and finish in traffic, there hasn't been a more versatile scorer in Denver.
Dan Issel is the best center to ever play for the Nuggets. Issel pulled down 6,630 rebounds in his 10 seasons with Denver. Issel also ranks second in scoring with 16,589 points.
Lafayette "Fat" Lever is the most dynamic point guard to put on a Nuggets uniform. Lever joined Denver for the 1984-85 season and made the playoffs in all six seasons he was with the team. The 6'3" phenomenon put up 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game during his stay.
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