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The Denver Nuggets are an NBA basketball franchise headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets are a member of the Western Conference Northwest Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Denver Larks were created as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967, but the name was changed to Rockets before the inaugural season. In 1974, the Rockets changed their name once more to the Nuggets. In 1976, the Nuggets competed for the last ABA Championship championship, but were defeated by the New York Nets.
The squad has had some success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs in every season from 1967 to 1976, where they were eliminated in the finals. After the ABA”NBA merger in 1976, the club entered the NBA and qualified for the playoffs nine times in a row in the 1980s and ten times in a row from 2004 to 2013.
However, they have not been in the NBA Finals since their final season in the ABA, making them the only one of the four surviving former ABA teams to never make it to the NBA Finals. Ball Arena, which the Nuggets share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League, is where they play their home games (NLL).
The first Denver Nuggets were created before to the 1948″49 National Basketball League (NBL) season. The NBL and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) united after that season, and the newly unified circuit was renamed the National Basketball Association to represent the merger. Before dissolving, the Denver Nuggets were one of the original NBA clubs, playing in the 1949″50 season. The records and statistics of this team are distinct from those of the modern-day Denver Nuggets.
Later, in 1967, a consortium in Kansas City, Missouri, led by Southern California millionaire James Trindle, was given one of the American Basketball Association’s (ABA) original franchises. Trindle, on the other hand, was unable to locate an appropriate venue in the Kansas City region.
Trindle, on the other hand, was unable to locate an appropriate venue in the Kansas City region.
Commissioner George Mikan proposed that the franchise be relocated to Denver. Trindle relocated his franchise to Denver as the Denver Larks, named after Colorado’s state bird, after agreeing to appoint former NBA player and Denver native Vince Boryla as general manager.
Mikan ordered the Larks to deposit a $100,000 performance bond or lose the franchise since the Trindle group was significantly undercapitalized. Trindle sold a 2/3 controlling interest to Denver trucking mogul Bill Ringsby for $350,000 only hours before the deadline. The squad was eventually dubbed the Rockets, after Ringsby’s company’s long-haul trucks.
The Rockets experienced early success on the court while playing in the Denver Auditorium Arena, and they built a solid fan base along the way. The squad, on the other hand, had a history of early playoff exits and had only appeared in the ABA championship series once.
Denver had a strong squad early on, headed by Byron Beck and Larry Jones, then Beck and Ralph Simpson afterwards. During that inaugural season, Lonnie Wright of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League joined with the Rockets and became the first player to play professional football and hoops in the same season. Wright spent four seasons with the Broncos. Spencer Haywood, a controversial rookie, joined the squad for the 1969″70 season.
Haywood was one of the first players in the NBA to turn pro before graduating from college, and the league initially refused to let him play. Haywood was voted ABA MVP, ABA Rookie of the Year, and All-Star Game MVP in his first ABA season, averaging nearly 30 points and 19.5 rebounds per game. Before missing the playoffs in the second round, the club ended 51″33 and won their division.