Since the 1976-1977 NBA season, the Denver Nuggets have been hunting for gold. That gold is the NBA Finals trophy. In fact, the Nuggets have achieved success in the NBA playoffs. They have appeared in the playoffs 19 times, have been Division Champions five times, and have even reached the NBA Conference Finals twice. However, throughout their history they have continued to bet on gold.
How did the name “Nuggets” get as good as gold? Before they were the Denver Nuggets, people referred to them as the Denver Rockets. “Nuggets” refers to the gold mining industry, around which people built the city of Denver. Speaking of Denver, here are some interesting facts about the city:
o Year of foundation: 1858
o Year of incorporation: 1861
o Elevation: 5,280 feet
o Average annual snowfall: 55.4 inches
o Major injuries: communications, transportation, public services
Going back to the history of the Denver Nuggets, the team previously existed as the Denver Rockets, from 1967 to 1974. Then, before the 1974-1975 season, the Rockets were transformed into the Nuggets. This honored Denver’s first professional basketball team, which had played in the young NBA until 1950.
After the American Basketball Association withdrew in 1976, the new Denver Nuggets played their first NBA game on October 22, 1976. Unlike the other three ABA teams that joined the NBA, the Nuggets they had a golden year. In fact, with a 50-32 record, the Nuggets finished their first NBA season atop the Midwest Division. However, the Portland Trailblazers would eliminate the Nuggets in the playoffs by winning their series 4-2.
During the 1977-1978 season, the Nuggets achieved even greater success in their second NBA season. Once again, the Nuggets won the Midwest Division title, finishing the season with a 48-34 record. This year, however, the Nuggets won their first playoff series. They fought the Milwaukee Bucks, eventually defeating them in seven games. However, the Nuggets failed to reach the NBA Finals, losing in the Western Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks won the series 4-2.
Over the next six seasons, the Denver Nuggets made the playoffs four times. However, they would not match his success in the 1977-1978 playoffs until the 1984-1985 season. The Nuggets made some bold and wise trades before the first jump of the season. They finished the season with a commendable 52-30 record and again won the NBA’s Midwest Division. The Nuggets first defeated the San Antonio Spurs with a 3-2 series victory, and then demolished the Utah Jazz with a 4-1 series victory. However, the Nuggets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals.
After the 1984-1985 season, the Nuggets were division champions again in 1988 and 2006. Unfortunately for Nuggets fans, they lost in their second and first playoff series, respectfully. A return to the Western Conference Finals was still elusive.
The Denver Nuggets continue to seek gold in the NBA Finals, that is. Cheer them on with Denver Nuggets merchandise, as they hunt for the best NBA nugget ever!