NUGGETS

The Denver Nuggets were crowned champs a year ago Wednesday

Jun 12, 2024, 2:42 PM

No team waited longer before winning an NBA championship than the Denver Nuggets, who finished 47 years of waiting a year ago on Wednesday by beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals at Ball Arena.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter Jr. made big plays down the stretch as they clinched the confetti. Then NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed the Kroenkes the Larry O’Brien Trophy to kick start the celebration. Jamal Murray was an emotional mess in front of the sold-out crowd and world, as the city took to the streets in applause.

As one of the lucky people allowed in the locker room a year ago tonight, Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown and Nikola Jokic’s excitement stick in my head. I’m pretty sure I still need to take one of my shirts to the drycleaners after Thomas Bryant grabbed my collar and poured a bottle of champagne down my back. The scene from the locker room was just incredible, and you can see a bunch of my photos and videos from that night here and below.

But that was just the start as the parade came a few days later. And again, I was lucky enough to walk the entire route right next to the truck Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were on. Downtown Denver coming up 17th street felt like a roaring canyon of cheers as soon as fans saw the Finals MVP. The parade ended with speeches, including Jokic sharing that he had changed his mind and now loved parades.

The Nuggets went 16-4 in the playoffs en route to their first title, capping a season where the team finished first place in the west. Murray returned from a knee injury, the addition of KCP was an x-factor, Gordon gelled, MPJ stepped up, some youngsters like Christian Bruan had an impact and Jokic was again unbelievable. It was a special season.

The Nuggets wait will someday not be the longest as both the Pacers and Suns have now been waiting longer. But Denver won’t care about that anymore, because the Nuggets did a thing that felt impossible for years of losing to teams like the Lakers.

Sure, Denver didn’t go back-to-back but they followed up their championship season with another MVP for Jokic, a franchise record for regular season wins and another series win over Los Angeles.

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