DENVER — The Denver Nuggets start the 2019-2020 season Wednesday night in Portland against the Trail Blazers. If you’re new to Colorado or you simply want to learn more, this guide will give you 20 facts about the Nuggets.
1. The Nuggets were founded in 1967 as the Denver Larks as a part of the American Basketball Association. They soon changed their name to the Rockets before becoming the Nuggets in 1974. The Nuggets became an official NBA team in 1976.
2. The Nuggets are owned by Stan and Ann Kroenke of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment.
3. The Nuggets are in the Western Conference.
4. The head coach is Michael Malone. He’s been with the Nuggets since 2015.
5. The Nuggets have never won an NBA or conference title.
6. They have eight NBA Division titles: 1977, 1978, 1985, 1988, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2019.
7. They have made the NBA Playoffs 25 times.
8. Supermascot Rocky is the Nuggets mascot. Rocky is one of only 10 professional mascots that has been inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Rocky is a mountain lion.
9. The name of the Denver franchise was changed from Rockets to Nuggets to honor the 19th century mining boom in Colorado.
10. The Nuggets have retired seven numbers: Alex English #2, Fat Lever #12, David Thompson #33, Byron Beck #40, Dan Issel #44, Dikembe Mutombo #55, Doug Moe #432 (Moe is the has the highest win total of any coach in Nuggets history. 432 is his regular season victory total in Denver).
11. The Nuggets all-time leading scorer is Alex English. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.
12. The official colors are midnight blue, sunshine yellow, Flatirons red and skyline blue.
13. Alex English holds three franchise records: most minutes played at 29,893; most assists at 3,679; and most points scored at 21,645.
14. David Thompson and Nikola Jokic are the only players in franchise history to make the All-NBA First Team.
15. There are seven players who have made the NBA All-Rookie First Team: Dikembe Mutombo, LaPhonso Ellis, Antonio McDyess, Nene, Carmelo Anthony, Kenneth Faried and Nikola Jokic.
16. Larry Brown, George Karl and Michael Malone have all been a head coach of an NBA All-Star Game.
17. Fourteen players have played in an NBA All-Star Game at least once: Dan Issel, Bobby Jones, David Thompson, George McGinnis, Alex English, Kiki Vandeweghe, Calvin Natt, Fat Lever, Dikembe Mutombo, Antonio McDyess, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Chauncy Billups and Nikola Jokic.
18. If you’re looking for the franchise leader in blocks, just listen to some modern-day rap songs, you’ll find the answer. If you don’t want to, it’s Dikembe Mutombo.
19. Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and the city and county of Denver recently announced a tentative agreement that will keep the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche in the city through 2040.