In 1967, the Denver Nuggets Club was founded in Denver, Colorado. In the very beginning, the team was called Denver Rockets. It performed at ABA (American Basketball Association).
The Nuggets managed to stay in the NBL for the season. After the NBL and BAA merger, they played in the formed NBA. Soon the team was disbanded, and Silver State lost the basketball event for many years.
In 1967, a group of businessmen headed by James Trindl agreed with George Maikan (the newly-born commissioner of the ABA) to revive the team in Denver under the ambiguous name of Denver Larks. Because of the funding problems, Trindle was forced to sell 2/3 of the shares to Bill Ringsby, the owner of Rocket Truck Lines, a large transport company.
Having become the majority shareholder, Ringsby initiated changes in the team’s name. This way, the ridiculous “Larks” replaced the threatening “Rockets.” Over the seven years of its existence, the Denver Rockets have been in the playoffs five times. But they have not become champions.
In 1972 the club got new owners again. The merger of the ABA and the NBA, under the terms of which there could not be clubs with the same name as part of the future Association, gained momentum. As the Houston Rockets were already playing in the NBA, the Denver had to change its name again. The team didn’t do anything special: in the 1974/75 season, the Denver Nuggets that revived from the ashes entered the season.
The team name is a reference to the fifties of the 19th century, the times when gold deposits were found in the state of Colorado. In the world, the state of Colorado is known, first of all, as the most desired place of every gold digger. In the middle of the XIX century, crowds of immigrants rushed here, trying to get rich in the shortest possible time. The gold rush has become one of the prerequisites for the formation of the state of Colorado. Hence Nuggets, the nickname of the team, came from “Nugget of Gold.”
Team mascot – Rocky the Mountain Lion.
Meaning and History
The franchise has a very long career and an incredibly rich history with numerous logos and color changes. Formed about half a century ago, it has always experimented with symbolism, which has evolved from a monosyllabic sign into a deep print. Throughout its existence, the Denver Nuggets team has had nine logos.
1968 – 1971
In 1968, the logo of the basketball team was presented to the public for the first time. It was designed by Bill Ringsby specifically for the team. The earliest version refers to the period of the club’s formation. The emblem consists of a classic rondel with an orange basketball in the center. The white stripe reads “Ringsby System” (bottom) and “Denver” (top). The lower part of the text identifies the shipping company Bill Ringsby, the owner of the franchise, and the upper part is where it is located. Across the circle in a long rectangle is the word “Rockets” – the club’s old name.
1972 – 1974
A year after the team was founded, management decided to associate the logo with her name closely. As a result, a rocket appeared, running with a basketball against the backdrop of a ridge. The name of the franchise is shown at the top and bottom of the circular logo.
1974 – 1976
The Denver basketball team changed the concept completely. So, there were “Denver nuggets” instead of “Denver Rockets.” After the club was renamed Denver Nuggets, the designers used the Maxie the Miner look. The red-blue-white character was the explorer Yukon Cornelius. He has a cheerful disposition: he shouts happily, jumps up, holding a pick in one hand and a small ball in the other. A new team name is located around the miner. A thin blue line surrounds all elements.
1976 – 1981
After the redesign, the emblem remained the same, with the exception of the circle: its developers removed it. They also darkened the colors, blackened Maxie the Miner’s mouth, highlighted the “D” on his cap, and removed the acronym from the ball.
1982 – 1993
In 1982, the most colorful new logo in the history of the club was approved. It is a semicircle with rainbow lines and houses of multicolored squares set against the backdrop of snow-white mountains. The logo represents the horizon of the so-called “rainbow city”. It was the artists who conveyed a variety of gems. At the bottom, there is an inscription “Denver Nuggets,” stylized as an ornament.
1994 – 2003
Another redesign ushered in the era of the single mountain peak emblems and the very large word “Nuggets.” The first part of the name of the sports club – “Denver” is located above the mountain peak in a semi-arch.
2004 – 2008
In 2004, the designers made minor adjustments to the color scheme. They lightened the colors, replaced the red background with blue in the center rectangle, and made the Nuggets gold.
2009 – 2018
The previous emblem is completely preserved. Only the color of the word “Nuggets” is enhanced, making it bright.
2019 – Present
Since 2019, the logo has been decorated with two golden pickaxes. They are crossed in the center and occupy almost the entire middle. Between them, at the top, mountain peaks are visible, as if illuminated by the sun. Below, under the handles, is a basketball that looks like a globe. This effect is created thanks to lines that are very similar to meridians and parallels. A thin red line surrounds all central elements. It is followed by a wide strip with the phrase “Denver Nuggets.” There are stars between the upper and lower words. The logo is surrounded by a double border around the outer edge.
The current version is a classic print with a center section and several borders. Earlier versions overlap with older team names. They are united by the word “Denver,” used in expanded form or as an initial letter.
Font and Color
Depending on the time of the release of the emblems, the inscriptions had a different character. They were grotesque, elongated, serif, ornamental, classic, arched. One of the logos is written in the Aachen Bold typeface by Colin Brignall.
The franchise’s official palette includes gold, two shades of blue (dark and light). White plays a supporting role. Previously, red, purple, beige were also used. And the most colorful version contains all the colors of the rainbow.