Nuggets Win

Congratulations to the Denver Nuggets for winning their first NBA Championship. It has been a long road for Nuggets fans, especially for those who have been following the team since they debuted as the Denver Rockets in the ABA in the fall of 1967. Renamed the Nuggets for the 1974-75 season, the team won 60+ games in each of their final two ABA campaigns, but failed to win an ABA title.

The Nuggets lost to the New York Nets in the 1976 ABA Finals, then, along with the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers, the four teams were absorbed into the NBA.

The early days of the ex-ABA clubs in the NBA were a mixed bag. The Nets were derailed by financial woes that forced them to sell Julius Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers (an ironic twist, since the Nets had only been able to acquire Erving four years earlier due to the financial woes of the Virginia Squires franchise); Indiana, coming off their worst season in the ABA, did not finish above .500 until 1981 and qualified for the playoffs just twice between 1977 and 1989. San Antonio reached the conference finals three times over the next seven seasons but never won, while Denver captured back-to-back NBA Midwest Division titles before fading.

None of them reached the NBA Finals until the Spurs won it all in 1999. The ABA refugees then went on a run, with the Pacers (2000), Nets (2002, 2003), and the Spurs (2003, 2005, 2007) all getting to the Finals during the first decade of the 21st century.

But Denver had to wait until 2023 to finally win it all.