Top 10 Denver Nuggets of All Time – Discover the Legends of Basketball

Top 10 Denver Nuggets of All Time

The Denver Nuggets, a franchise known for their high-scoring, up-tempo style of play, have seen a plethora of talented players grace their roster over the years. From their inception in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967 to their eventual transition to the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Nuggets have cultivated a rich basketball tradition. This tradition includes a remarkable lineage of players who have left an indelible mark on the franchise and the sport of basketball as a whole. In this compilation, we will explore the top 10 Denver Nuggets of all time, a list that pays tribute to the men who have defined an era of Mile High basketball.

S.No

Player

Position

1

Nikola Jokić

Power forward

2

Alex English

Small forward

3

Dikembe Mutombo

Center

4

Carmelo Anthony

Small forward

5

David Thompson

SF, SG, Forward

6

Jamal Murray

Point guard

7

Fat Lever

PG, SG

8

Dan Issel

PF, Center

9

Chauncey Billups

Point guard

10

Kiki Vandeweghe

Small forward

These remarkable athletes have achieved greatness on the hardwood, representing Denver with an unmatched dedication and passion for the game. Their contributions have not only shaped the Nuggets’ history but have also influenced the way the game is played, both locally and nationally.

From the high-flying dunks of Alex English to the dynamic point guard play of Fat Lever, and the dominant presence of Dikembe Mutombo in the paint, the Denver Nuggets have been blessed with a diverse array of talent. Each of these players, in their own unique way, has helped elevate the Nuggets to relevance in the highly competitive world of professional basketball.

 

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Denver Nuggets of All Time

This list is a celebration of their enduring impact and the unforgettable moments they brought to the Mile High City. Join us as we embark on a journey through the annals of Denver Nuggets history to honor the top 10 players who have left an indelible mark on this storied franchise.

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1. Nikola Jokić – Power forward

Nikola Jokić, often referred to as the “Joker,” is undeniably one of the greatest Denver Nuggets players in the franchise’s history. Born in Serbia in 1995, Jokić was selected by the Nuggets as the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. From the moment he stepped onto the court, he showcased remarkable versatility, incredible court vision, and exceptional passing skills for a big man.

Jokić quickly emerged as the team’s cornerstone, winning the NBA MVP award in 2021, becoming the second Nugget to ever achieve this feat. His ability to score, rebound, and create opportunities for his teammates has revolutionized the center position. He’s known for his incredible basketball IQ and the way he can control the game’s pace. In addition to his MVP, Jokić has received multiple All-Star selections and All-NBA Team honors.

Beyond his individual achievements, Jokić has helped lead the Nuggets to playoff success, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2020. His impact on and off the court has solidified his legacy as one of the greatest players not only in Nuggets history but in the entire NBA.

2. Alex English – Small forward

Alex English, a legendary figure in Denver Nuggets history, was one of the most prolific scorers the NBA has ever seen. Born in 1954, he joined the Nuggets in 1980 through a trade with the Indiana Pacers. English made an immediate impact in Denver, earning eight consecutive All-Star selections from 1982 to 1989.

Known for his smooth scoring ability, English led the league in scoring during the 1982-83 season and finished his career with over 25,000 points, the majority of which were scored in a Nuggets uniform. His scoring prowess was characterized by a wide array of offensive moves, including his unstoppable mid-range jumper.

English’s impact on the Nuggets franchise extended beyond his individual success. He helped the team consistently make playoff appearances, and his leadership on and off the court made him a beloved figure among fans. His No. 2 jersey was retired by the Nuggets in recognition of his contributions to the team, solidifying his status as one of the all-time greats in the franchise’s history.

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3. Dikembe Mutombo – Center

Dikembe Mutombo, the iconic shot-blocker and defensive stalwart, left an indelible mark on the Denver Nuggets during his time with the team. Born in 1966 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mutombo was drafted by the Nuggets as the fourth overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft.

Mutombo’s defensive prowess was unmatched, and he led the league in blocked shots for multiple seasons. He was renowned for his signature finger-wag after rejecting opponents’ shots. Mutombo’s shot-blocking abilities earned him numerous Defensive Player of the Year awards and All-NBA Team selections. His presence in the paint was a game-changer, making it incredibly difficult for opponents to score at the rim.

Mutombo’s tenure in Denver was relatively short but left a lasting impact. He was a key part of the Nuggets’ success during the early 1990s, helping the team reach the playoffs. His No. 55 jersey was retired by the Nuggets in recognition of his contributions, and he remains one of the most iconic figures in franchise history.

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4. Carmelo Anthony – Small forward

Carmelo Anthony is undoubtedly one of the best Denver Nuggets in the franchise’s history. He played for the Nuggets from 2003 to 2011, leaving a significant mark on the team’s legacy. Anthony, primarily a small forward, possessed an exceptional scoring ability that made him a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.

During his time in Denver, Anthony was a multiple-time All-Star, earning All-Star selections every year he played for the Nuggets. He was a prolific scorer, capable of putting up 20+ points per game consistently. In the 2006-2007 season, he led the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals, showcasing his leadership and clutch performances.

Carmelo Anthony’s time with the Nuggets came to an end in 2011 when he was traded to the New York Knicks, but his impact on the franchise remains unforgettable. He ranks among the all-time leaders in various statistical categories for the Nuggets and will always be remembered as one of the franchise’s greatest players.

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5. David Thompson – SF, SG, Forward

David Thompson is often regarded as one of the greatest Denver Nuggets of all time. He had a remarkable career with the team from 1975 to 1982, and his versatility as a small forward and shooting guard made him a valuable asset on the court.

Thompson’s athleticism and scoring ability were truly extraordinary. He was a two-time ABA All-Star and made the transition to the NBA when the Nuggets joined the league in 1976. Known for his incredible leaping ability, Thompson became a highlight-reel dunker and a prolific scorer. He led the Nuggets to the playoffs several times during his tenure, making a significant impact on the franchise’s success.

Thompson’s career with the Nuggets was not only marked by individual accolades but also by his contribution to the team’s overall performance. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, solidifying his status as one of the all-time greats in Nuggets history.

6. Jamal Murray – Point guard

Jamal Murray is a rising star for the Denver Nuggets. As a point guard, he has shown exceptional skills and an ability to take over games with his scoring and playmaking. Murray was drafted by the Nuggets in 2016 and has rapidly become one of the key figures in the team’s success.

Murray’s signature moment came in the 2020 NBA Playoffs when he led the Nuggets on an incredible run to the Western Conference Finals. His clutch performances and scoring ability, including a 50-point game in a crucial playoff match, earned him recognition as one of the league’s emerging stars.

Murray’s combination of ball-handling, court vision, and three-point shooting has made him a versatile point guard. His chemistry with Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ star center, has been a crucial factor in the team’s competitiveness. While his career is still in its early stages, Jamal Murray has already established himself as one of the best Denver Nuggets of his generation, with the potential to become an all-time franchise great.

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7. Fat Lever – PG, SG

Lafayette “Fat” Lever is undoubtedly one of the best players in Denver Nuggets history. Lever was a versatile point guard and shooting guard who made a significant impact during his time with the team. He played for the Nuggets from 1984 to 1990, becoming an integral part of the franchise’s success during the 1980s.

Lever was known for his exceptional ball-handling skills, court vision, and tenacious defense. He averaged a remarkable triple-double during the 1986-87 season with 18.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game. This remarkable feat highlighted his all-around skills and basketball IQ. Lever’s ability to stuff the stat sheet made him a fan favorite and a crucial contributor to the team’s success.

He was a two-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-Defensive team selection. His leadership on and off the court helped the Nuggets reach the playoffs consistently during his tenure. Lever’s jersey number 12 was retired by the Nuggets to honor his outstanding contributions to the franchise.

8. Dan Issel – PF, Center

Dan Issel is an iconic figure in Denver Nuggets history. He had a highly successful career with the franchise, playing for the team from 1975 to 1985. Issel was a dominant force in the frontcourt, capable of playing power forward and center with equal prowess.

Issel’s scoring ability was his trademark. He averaged 20.7 points per game during his time with the Nuggets and retired as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. His versatility and finesse in the post made him a nightmare for opposing defenses. He was a seven-time All-Star and a crucial part of the Nuggets’ success during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

One of his most memorable moments was his 53-point game against the Boston Celtics in 1978, a performance that showcased his scoring ability against one of the league’s elite teams. Issel’s impact on and off the court earned him the nickname “Horse,” and his contributions to the franchise led to his jersey number 44 being retired by the Nuggets.

9. Chauncey Billups – Point guard

Chauncey Billups, often referred to as “Mr. Big Shot,” is one of the greatest point guards in Denver Nuggets history. He played for the Nuggets in two separate stints, from 1998 to 2000 and then again from 2008 to 2011.

Billups was known for his clutch play, leadership, and defensive prowess. He was a vital part of the Nuggets’ resurgence in the mid-2000s, helping the team make multiple playoff appearances and even reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Billups was named an NBA All-Star five times during his career and earned the NBA Finals MVP award in 2004 while playing for the Detroit Pistons.

His ability to hit crucial shots in late-game situations earned him the “Mr. Big Shot” moniker, and he became a fan favorite in Denver. Billups’ jersey number 1 was retired by the Nuggets in recognition of his immense contributions to the team and the city of Denver.

10. Kiki Vandeweghe – Small forward

Kiki Vandeweghe is one of the most prolific scorers in Denver Nuggets history. He played for the Nuggets from 1980 to 1984 and made a significant impact as a small forward.

Vandeweghe was renowned for his scoring ability and his smooth jump shot. He averaged over 25 points per game during his time with the Nuggets, leading the team in scoring each season. He was a two-time NBA All-Star and an offensive force to be reckoned with.

One of his most memorable achievements was leading the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in the 1984 playoffs. Vandeweghe’s scoring prowess was a key factor in the team’s success that season. His jersey number 55 was retired by the Nuggets to honor his contributions to the franchise. Kiki Vandeweghe remains a beloved figure in Denver Nuggets history, known for his offensive brilliance and impact on the team’s success during his tenure.

Top Denver Nuggets Ever

The Denver Nuggets have a rich and storied history, and the top 10 players on this list have undoubtedly left an enduring legacy within the franchise and the world of professional basketball. From the remarkable versatility and court vision of Nikola Jokić to the prolific scoring of Alex English, and the dominant shot-blocking presence of Dikembe Mutombo, each player has made an indelible mark in their unique way.

Carmelo Anthony’s scoring ability, David Thompson’s athleticism, and Jamal Murray’s emerging stardom have all contributed to the Nuggets’ success, past and present. Fat Lever’s triple-double prowess, Dan Issel’s scoring dominance, and Chauncey Billups’ clutch play have solidified their places in the annals of Nuggets history. Lastly, Kiki Vandeweghe’s scoring prowess and smooth jump shot round out this distinguished list of top 10 Denver Nuggets of all time.

These players have not only achieved individual greatness but have also played integral roles in the Nuggets’ success and their impact on the franchise’s history. They have left an indelible mark on the Mile High City, becoming beloved figures in the hearts of fans. As the Denver Nuggets continue their journey in the NBA, the legacy of these top 10 players will continue to inspire and shape the future of the franchise.

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