Denver Nuggets HISTORY

Player info
Team info


Quick facts:

Founded:    1935
Folded:     1950
Arena:      Auditorium Arena
Built in:   1908
Capacity:   12,000
Titles:     None
AAU Titles: 3 (1937, 1939, 1942)
Playoffs: 0

1935-36 MO Valley  Denver Safeway-Piggly Wigglys 
1936-38 MO Valley  Denver Safeway Persianas 
1939-40 MO Valley  Denver Nuggets 
1941-44 MO Valley  Denver American Legion 
1945-46 ABL        Denver Ambrose Jellymakers 
1946-48 ABL        Denver Nuggets 
1948-49 NBL        Denver Nuggets 
1949-50 NBA        Denver Nuggets 
1950-51 NPBL       Denver Frontier Refiners 
1950-51 NPBL       Evansville Agogans 
1951-52 ABL        Denver Nuggets

MO Valley = Missouri Valley, an AAU conference.
ABL = American Basketball League, an AAU Conference

Season Record
Year    Name    League  W   L  %     Playoffs
1945-46 Jellies  ABL    10   6 .625  1-2
1946-47 Nuggets  ABL     9  11 .450  3-1 Lost finals vs Oakland
1947-48 Nuggets  ABL    15   8 .652  No Playoffs. League ceased operations
1948-49 Nuggets  NBL    18  44 .290  none
1949-50 Nuggets  NBA    11  51 .177  none
1950-51 Refiners NPBL   18  16 .528  none
1950-51 Agogans  NPBL    0   6 .000  none

Interesting Facts:
  • The Denver Nuggets were the first NBA team west of the Mississippi River until 1960 when the Lakers moved to Los Angeles.

  • Milt Schoon scored a than pro basketball record 64 points while playing for the Denver Refiners in 1951 in a game against Kansas City Hi-Sports

    Unique History:
    The Nuggets have a unique history among NBA teams. They are the only team who started out as an amateur non-professional team, than went semi-pro, than fully pro, joined the biggest leagues in the nation, and than slowly drop back down to semi-pro and amateur status again.

    Because the city of Denver was so far away from the rest of the eastern teams in the NBL and NBA, the Nuggets often filled their schedule with other western teams who were not as well know on the national circuit. The Nuggets would often host teams from Los Angeles, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

    First Game:
    On October 29, 1949, the Denver Nuggets and Tri-Cities Blackhawks played in the first ever NBA game after the BAA and NBL merger. The Blackhawks beat the Nuggets 93-85 behind 15 points from Billy Hassett. Denver's Bob Brown lead all scorers with 16 points. This game has often gotten lost due to the NBA considering its first game the Toronto-New York matchup from November 1, 1946 as the first game.

    Morris Udall who played for the Nuggets during their last year in the NBL would go on to be a successful politician. He would win a seat in Congress in 1961 and serve there until 1991. He also attempted an unsuccessful run for the White House challenging Jimmy Carter in the 1976 Democratic primaries.

    1937 Denver Safeway AAU championship team.

    1938 AAU program
    Denver Jelly Makers promo

    Denver Nuggets @ Waterloo Hawks photo from 1950

    Ken Sailors

    Jack McCracken

    Ralph Bishop

    Denvers Udall drives vs the Duffy Packers

    Programs from AAU games before the Nuggets joined the NBL.

    Duel program guide from game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

    Ralph Beard in 1937-38 for the Safeway Persianas.

    Leonard "Chink" Alterman

    Game program from after the Nuggets left the NBA and became the Frontier Refiners.

    The first NBA game played after the merger of the BAA and NBL occurred in Molina, Illinois and was between the Denver Nuggets and Tri-Cities Blackhawks.

    Denver's Morris Udall vs the Rens

    Game Program for a game vs the Idaho Simplots. The game was played in Denver on December 11, 1946

    NBA Players turned Politicians

    With the recent unrest in America, a lot of current and former NBA players have made comments online and let their feels and opinions be known. For some, this is seen as the players stepping out of their industry; for most it is just the players exercising their 1st Amendment rights. But, players getting political is nothing new. Many former athletes have left the court and gone on to have very successful playing careers.

    Most people will recognize that several former football players have made some very high profile runs of office. The most famous of these, and successful, is former University of Michigan star Gerald Ford. Ford served 25 years in the House of Representatives, before in 1973, being nominated by Richard Nixon to become the Vice President. When Nixon resigned the office following the Watergate scandal, Ford became the 38th President of the United States. Ford would lose his re-election bid in 1976 to Jimmy Carter.

    Another famous football star, Jack Kemp ran for the office of president in 1996 as the Republican challenger to Bill Clinton. Kemp, a star quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, selected another former athlete to be his running-mate. Kemp selected former New York Knicks forward Bill Bradley to be his Vice-Present.

    Complete Article




  • NBA History
  • Remembering the Original Nuggets