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.
Denver Nuggets logo history
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 ball presented the strictly sustained picture with white framing around. The inscription “Rockets” was in the center. Above and below the logo, the creators used the inscription “DENVER” and “RINGSBY SYSTEM” in a circle.
1972 – 1974
These two years were the last in the existence of the first Denver Rockets emblem. There was a purple-yellow rocket playing basketball depicted against the background of purple mountains with white mountain tops. The inscription “Denver Rockets” was also made in purple tones.
1974 – 1976
The Denver basketball team changed the concept completely. So, there were “Denver nuggets” instead of “Denver Rockets.” Miner Maxi personified the team. The Yukon Cornelius Scout was depicted in flight, holding a basketball in one hand and a pickaxe in the other. The tool is considered to be the symbol of the primary industry of the city of Denver. The color scheme was changed completely: the main colors were white, blue, and red. Designers placed the blue-colored name of the team on the top and bottom of the spherical logo.
1976 – 1981
To slightly improve the previous team logo, designers worked with the details of the red-white-blue miner. Thus, the image got a black outline, which made the logo more sophisticated. The circle was also removed, and the inscription “Denver Nuggets” was redone. So, it was located under the picture and was displayed in two colors: the word “Denver” in red and “Nuggets” in blue.
1982 – 1993
In 1982, the Denver Nuggets pleased their fans with a new logo, though this time, it didn’t contain any signs familiar to Yukon Cornelius. The basis for the logo was a semicircle, inside of which designers depicted Denver itself against the background of the mountains peaks. The sky and the houses were kept in the same rainbow colors, but the mountains were completely white. Under the picture, there was an inscription in black letters “Denver Nuggets.”
1994 – 2003
In 1994, there was a complete change of the logo. It is worth noting that the design of the name itself had been completely changed, as well as colors. There was only one mountain snow-capped peak left in the background. The name was placed in the foreground: the name of the Denver city had become white. The inscription was placed against a dark red background. Under it, we could see the word “Nuggets” – then it was a color scheme between the golden letters and the dark blue background.
2004 – 2008
After nine years, designers changed only the color scheme in the logo of the basketball team from Denver. Thus, instead of the leading black, red, and gold colors, Denver Nuggets emblem was made in blue and yellow shades. In the background, there was a blue snow-capped peak. The white inscription “Denver” was highlighted by a blue frame. In the center, there were huge yellow letters “Nuggets” with a blue rim.
2009 – 2018
Despite designers slightly changed the color scheme, the Denver Nuggets logo still showed a snow peak. Also, there is the inscription “Denver” in the foreground on a light blue background. Under it, we can see the inscription “Nuggets” made in a warm yellow shade.
2019 – Present
The new Denver Nuggets logo appeared in 2019. For the first time since 1976, the logo has acquired a round shape. The main colors were gold, red, and black. In the inner circle, there are two golden picks crossed between each other. A golden mountain peak is above them, and a white and golden balls are below. On the outer circle, the inscription “Denver Nuggets” is displayed in white letters, and gold stars of fancy shapes are placed on the sides.