How did the name “Nuggets” become good as gold? Before they were the Denver Nuggets, people referred to them as the Denver Rockets. “Nuggets” alludes to the gold mining industry, around which people built the city of Denver. Speaking of Denver, here are some interesting facts about the city:
* Year founded: 1858
* Year incorporated: 1861
* Elevation: 5,280 feet
* Average yearly snowfall: 55.4 inches
* Major injuries: communications, transportation, utilities
Getting back to the Denver Nuggets history, the team formerly existed as the Denver Rockets, from 1967-1974. Then prior to the 1974-1975 season, the Rockets 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 folded 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 had a golden year. In fact, with a record of 50-32, the Nuggets ended their premiere NBA season at the top of 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 just their second season in the NBA. Once again, the Nuggets earned the Midwest Division Title, ending the season with a 48-34 record. This year, however, the Nuggets won their first playoff series. They battled it out with the Milwaukee Bucks, finally defeating them in seven games. However, the Nuggets were unable to reach the NBA Finals, losing in the Western Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks won the series 4-2.
During the next six seasons, the Denver Nuggets reached the playoffs four times. However, they would not match their 1977-1978 playoff success until the 1984-1985 season. The Nuggets made some bold and wise trades before the first jump-ball of the season. They finished the season with a commendable 52-30 record, and again won the Midwest Division of the NBA. The Nuggets first defeated the San Antonio Spurs with a 3-2 series win, 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 series of the playoffs, respectfully. A return to the Western Conference Finals remained elusive.
The Denver Nuggets continue to go for the gold-NBA Finals gold, that is. Cheer them on with Denver Nuggets merchandise, as they mine for the greatest NBA nugget of all!