76ers Nuggets Basketball

Denver's Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, right, are two of the best centers in the NBA.

The average height of Colorado Springs residents is about to spike as the Denver Nuggets will be in town Oct. 1-5.

The team will be holding training camp at the Olympic Training Center for a - anticipated 2019-2020 season. While you might know that the Nuggets are coming off a 54 win season where they had the No 2. seed in the Western Conference and advanced to the conference semifinals in the playoffs, how well do you really know the team?

In honor of Denver's best player, Nikola Jokic who wears No. 15, here are 15 facts about the Nuggets, currently the best pro sports team in Colorado. 

1. The Joker - Nikola Jokic was the 41st pick by the Nuggets in the 2014 NBA draft. The 7-foot center has had a big impact on the team since his arrival. He was named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team in 2016. Last season he received his first All-Star and All NBA First Team selections and became the team's all-time leader in playoff triple-doubles. 

2. Denver Rockets - The Nuggets, which were originally called the Denver Rockets, were founded in 1967 as part of the American Basketball Association. The Rockets name came from owner Bill Ringsby, who owned the Denver-based Ringsby Rocket trucking company. 

3. New league, new name - With a merger into the NBA on the horizon, Denver changed its name in 1974. The Houston Rockets were already established, so the Nuggets name was chosen to represent the region's 19th century mining boom. 

4. The Nuggets are older (technically) than the Broncos - The first Denver Nuggets NBA team was part of the league from 1949 to 1950. They played one season in the NBA and went 11-51 before dropping out of the fledgling league. 

5. Clyde chooses the NBA - The Nuggets first draft pick was Walt Frazier. The guard from Southern Illinois would chose the NBA instead and would go on to have a Hall of Fame career with the New York Knicks. 

6. A Pioneer becomes a Rocket - Instead of Frazier, Denver's first signing was University of Denver center Byron Beck. He'd go on to become a two-time ABA All-Star. 

7. Oh so close - The Nuggets have won eleven division titles, three while in the ABA and eight in the NBA, most recently in 2019. They've never won an NBA title, but they did make the 1976 ABA Finals. 

8. In the rafters - The Nuggets have seven numbers retired. They belong to Alex English (2), Fat Lever (12), David Thompson (33), Byron Beck (40) Dan Issel (44), Dikembe Mutombo (55) and Doug Moe (432). The 432 for Moe represents his regular season victory total while coach of the team. 

9. Twin towers - Although he stands at 7-feet, Nikola Jokic isn't the tallest player on the team. That honor goes to fellow center Bol Bol, who is 7-foot-2.

10. Famous dad - Bol's height is impressive but he isn't even the tallest basketball player from his own family. His father, Manute Bol, was 7-foot-7 and played for four NBA teams during his 13-year career. 

11. Greatest. Nugget. Ever. - The greatest player in Nuggets franchise history is arguably Alex English. He holds three franchise records: most points scored (21,645), most assists (3,679) and most minutes played (29,893).

12. The game's best mascot - Supermascot Rocky has been entertaining Nuggets fans (and battling with Charles Barkley) for nearly three decades. The 5-foot-10 mountain lion is one of 10 professional mascots in the Mascot Hall of Fame. 

13. Big time owner - The Nuggets are owned by Stan and Ann Kroenke. Through Kroenke Sports, they also own the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Mammoth, the Los Angeles Rams and Premier League football club Arsenal.

14. The Can - The Nuggets have played in the Pepsi Center since it opened in 1999. The venue cost more than $180 million and was built in 21 months. The site takes up 45 acres and it takes a staff of more than 1,000 to run an event. The first event at the Pepsi Center was a Celine Dion concert on Oct. 1, 1999.

15. Joker birthday buddies - Jokic is born on Feb. 19. He shares a birthday with actors Millie Bobby Brown, Jeff Daniels, Benecio Del Toro and singers Seal and Smokey Robinson. 

Terry is a journalist and social media manager for The Gazette. He's a graduate of the University of Denver, loves the Denver Broncos, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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