This year, the Denver Nuggets reached the Western Conference Playoffs for the fourth time ever, eventually losing to the Lakers. The franchise has been around for nearly six decades. Although the team has a solid defense, they rarely make it far in the playoffs. This begs the question, have the Denver Nuggets ever won an NBA title?
Who are the Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets was founded before the 1948-49 National Basketball League season, details NBA.com. After that season, the National Basketball League merged with the Association of Basketball America, forming the National Basketball Association. The Nuggets were unable to play in Kansas City, and the commissioner George Mikan suggested that they relocate to Denver.
The team’s general manager Vince Boryla decided to name the team Denver Larks. Due to the Trindle Group’s inability to fund the team, they ended up selling the Nuggets to Bill Ringsby, a trucking company owner, for $350,000. The trucking magnate later renamed the team to the Rockets.
How the Denver Nuggets got their name
The team’s name may sound like a common chicken dish. But the Denver Nuggets weren’t named after chicken wings. After the Denver Nuggets, called the Rockets at the time, fell under the leadership of Ringsby, they signed on as solid lineup of players, including Larry Jones, Bryon Beck, and Lonnie Wright.
Wright doubled as a football player with the American Football League, making him the first player to play pro basketball and football. Spencer Haywood joined the team during the 1969-1970 season and led the team to several victories.
He, however, signed with the Seattle Supersonics in the 1970-71 season. The Rockets ended up recording low scores and reduced attendance. Ringsby ended up selling the team to Bud Fischer and Frank Goldberg, two San Diego businessmen, in 1972.
In 1974, the Rockets held a competition to decide a new name. The Houston Rockets were also using the name “Rockets,” which confused basketball circles. The team chose the “Nuggets” to honor the original Nuggets from 1948-50. The Nuggets chose a new logo featuring a miner “finding” an ABA ball. Afterward, the San Diego businessmen sold the team to an investment group.
Soon after their rebirth, the Nuggets ended up recording their best-ever record in the 1974-75 season behind the exemplary play of Ralph Simpson, the team’s guard-forward. However, the Indiana Pacers disrupted the Nuggets’ outstanding plays in the Western Division Finals.
Nevertheless, the Nuggets headed to the finals the next year. They eventually lost in six games to the New York Nets. The Nuggets played against the Jazz in the 2019-20 first round of the Western Conference Finals and won 4-3. In the conference semifinals, Denver won over the Clippers 4-3. In the Conference Finals, they played against the LA Lakers and lost 4-1.
The Denver Nuggets have never won an NBA title
The Denver Nuggets have made it to the playoffs 25 times out of the 43 seasons they’ve existed in the NBA, according to the Real GM. The Nuggets have, unfortunately, never won an NBA championship ever since they joined the league.
The only time the team made it to the NBA Finals was back in 1976. Denver played against the New York Nets and lost. The Nuggets have, however, won seven division titles in the past seasons.