The Denver Nuggets have had many amazing players throughout their 45 year long existence. However, having never made the NBA Finals and only having one player crowned MVP in Denver means their greatest players won’t be ranked based on team success. Individual success reigns supreme for the Nuggets.
8. Allen Iverson
Iverson will of course be known most notably in Philadelphia with the 76ers, but he left his mark in Denver with his short stint with the Nuggets. Iverson joined Denver in the latter stages of his career and was still able to average 25 points and seven assists and make the All-Star team twice. He was an instrumental piece in the ‘07/’08 team that won 50 games for the first time since 1998.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. Iverson’s time in Denver is all about quality over quantity.
7. Fat Lever
Lever was an unorthodox type of point guard for his day, in that he was a triple-double machine and often led the team in rebounds. His six-year stint with the Nuggets is highlighted by two All-Star appearances and filling out a dangerous duo with Alex English. Lever is still the Nuggets all-time leader in steals and has had his no. 12 retired in the Mile High City.
6. Dikembe Mutombo
Arguably the best inside defender in NBA history, Dikembe Mutombo slides into sixth place. People may remember Mutombo more as a Houston Rocket, but Denver is where his career started in 1991. He was an absolute menace to play against in his five seasons with the Nuggets. He remains the team’s leader in blocks and has his no. 55 retired in Denver. Mutombo was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
5. David Thompson
David Thompson is one of the “what-if” stories in NBA history. His struggles with drugs and staying on the court are the only reasons he isn’t higher on this list.
He seamlessly transitioned from the ABA to the NBA and dominated both leagues. He averaged 24 points for the Nuggets and cemented his place in Denver’s history by having a 73-point game.
4. Carmelo Anthony
One of the two active players on this list, Carmelo Anthony fits into fourth place. One of the most prolific scorers the league has ever seen, Anthony rose the Nuggets from the ashes. In his eight seasons with the team, they never missed the playoffs and made it to the Conference Finals in 2009.
Anthony went on to play for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and now the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a future hall of famer and will undoubtedly go down as one of the best Nuggets ever.
3. Dan Issel
The original Nuggets superstar made only one All-Star appearance in his 15 year career, but he did so much more than that. Issel was a big part of the ABA’s transition to the NBA and only missed 24 games in his professional career. His durability is where he got the nickname “The Horse”.
Close to 40 years after his retirement, Issel still holds multiple Nuggets records. For instance, he holds total rebounds, defensive rebounds and free throws attempted. Issel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
2. Nikola Jokic
The top two on this list was a toss up. Either can be considered number one, and with Jokic being the only MVP in Nuggets history, it’s hard to put him at two. I have no doubt that by the time Jokic retires, he will be the greatest Nugget in history. Even so, there is a legend that holds the title still.
Jokic won MVP in 2021 after averaging 26 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. He has led the Nuggets to at least the second round in the past three playoffs and has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
1. Alex English
After thinking about this for a while, there really is no other answer than Alex English at number one. He is the best Denver Nugget of all-time. There’s nothing else to say. English led the NBA in points scored in the 1980’s and holds 14 all-time Nuggets records.
- Games Played
- Minutes Played
- Field Goals Made
- Field Goals Attempted
- 2-Pt. Field Goals Made
- 2-Pt. Field Goals Attempted
- Field Goals Missed
- Personal Fouls
- Points Per Game
- Value Over Replacement Player
Alex English did it all.
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