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PLAYERS & TEAMS > BASKETBALL TEAMS > Denver Nuggets

Team OverviewPlayer RosterLatest Sigs By MailPrivate Signings

Logo



Rosters

All Time
1949

Team Information

Address:
Denver Nuggets
Pepsi Center
1000 Chopper Place
Denver, CO 80204

Reference Sites:
ESPN.com | NBA.com | DatabaseBasketball.com

Wiki Entry
The Denver Nuggets emerged from the original, most western team (Waterloo Hawks) the 1948-49 Denver Nuggets in the NBA The commonly overlooked, and far to often ignored, pioneering Nuggets team was the first team to charter a plane. The inaugural Nuggets season (11-51) was shared with the NBA. Then came the Denver Rockets (who were previously called the Denver Larks), a charter franchise in the American Basketball Association founded in 1967. The Rockets tended to struggle in the postseason early and failed to play in a championship game. They had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck and Larry Jones, then later by Beck and Ralph Simpson. Controversial rookie Spencer Haywood joined the team for the 1969�70 season. Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating from college, and the NBA initially refused to let him play in the league. Haywood averaged nearly 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in his only ABA season, then breached his Denver contract by signing with the Seattle SuperSonics and jumping to the NBA.

In 1974, in anticipation of moving into the NBA, the franchise held a contest to choose a new team nickname, as Rockets was already in use by the Houston Rockets. The name Nuggets won, having been the nickname first used by the Denver 1949�50 NBA franchise. Their new logo was a miner "discovering" an ABA ball.

With the drafting and signing of David Thompson and Marvin Webster and the acquisitions of Dan Issel and Bobby Jones and with Larry Brown coaching, they had their best seasons in team history in their first two seasons as the Nuggets, with the team making the ABA finals in 1975�76. They would get no second chance to win a league championship, as the ABA-NBA merger took place after the 1975�76 season. The Nuggets were one of four ABA teams taken into the NBA, along with the New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers for the 1976-77 NBA season. The Nuggets and Nets had actually applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were forced to stay in the ABA by a court order.

The Nuggets continued their strong play early on in the NBA, as they won division titles in their first two seasons in the league, and missed a third by a single game. However, neither of these teams was ultimately successful in the postseason.
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