The Denver Nuggets have a history that stretches back to days as an ABA team called the Denver Rockets. Among the best players in Denver Nuggets franchise history are three Hall of Fame members, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a current MVP contender.
One of the best players in Denver Nuggets franchise history is the team’s all-time leading scorer, Alex English. English spent the prime of his career in Denver, averaging 25.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 11 seasons as a Nugget. English made eight straight All-Star games and led the Nuggets to nine straight playoff appearances in the 1980s. He led the league in scoring in the 1982-83 season and finished in the top ten nine straight times. In 1997, Alex English became a member of the Hall of Fame.
With the team since its ABA days, David Thompson is one of the best players in Denver Nuggets franchise history. Thompson made five All-Star games, one All-ABA team, and two All-NBA teams with averages of 24.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists as a Nugget. Thompson was a rookie on the only Nuggets team to ever make it to a championship series, averaging 26.4 points in those playoffs. David Thompson was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dan Issel spent ten years as a player and six years as a coach for the Nuggets. The second leading scorer in team history, Issel scored 16,589 points for an average of 20.7 along with 8.3 rebounds per game. Issel made seven All-Star games between the ABA and the NBA, earning spots on All-ABA teams five times. Dan Issel was the first Denver Nugget to be ever be named a member of the Hall of Fame.
The team’s current leader, Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players in Denver Nuggets franchise history. Since Anthony joined the team, the Nuggets have yet to miss the playoffs. He has made three All-NBA teams and three All-Star teams with career averages of 24.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. His career scoring average is fifth highest among active players.
One of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history, Dikembe Mutombo spent his first five seasons in a Denver Nuggets uniform. Mutombo averaged 12.9 points and 12.3 rebounds with the Nuggets, but his work on the defensive end of the floor was the focus of his career. Mutombo led the league in blocks three times with Denver, averaging 3.8 blocks per game in Denver. He was named Defensive Player of the Year four times and made three All-NBA teams, six All-Defensive teams, and eight All-Star teams.
Other top players in Denver Nuggets franchise history include Fat Lever, Ralph Simpson, Antonio McDyess, Kiki Vandeweghe, Chauncey Billups, Larry Jones, Marcus Camby, LaPhonso Ellis, Calvin Natt, Nick Van Exel, Spencer Haywood, and Allen Iverson.