By Court Zierk @courtzierk on July 25, 2014
Certain names come to mind when you think about the best Nuggets players to ever suit up; Kiki Vandeweghe, Dikembe Mutombo, Dan Issel, Carmelo Anthony, David Thompson, Alex English, to name a few. I’d like to focus on some of the less heralded players that were extremely undervalued and often forgotten.
Hammonds was one of those guys who never put up great stats, but who made his presence felt on the court. He basically was on the team to give LaPhonso Ellis a break, and I always thought he was an outstanding role player. He provided defensive toughness and maximum effort off the bench. I loved watching him play and he was always undervalued.
Robert Pack was lightning in a bottle. He may have been the fastest person I have ever seen play the game of basketball, and he could jump out of the gym as well. He was so fast though, that he often would become out of control and turnover-prone. Once he was able to play within himself, he became an incredible backup point guard to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
Stith was simply a solid shooting guard for the Nuggets. Never flashy or dynamic but always consistent, Stith was one of the most important pieces for a consistently competitive Nuggets squad in the early-to-mid 90s.
Posey was one of the grittiest perimeter defenders in the league for more than a decade. He started his career with the Nuggets when they weren’t very good, and he was clearly one of the better players on the team. He wasn’t someone that filled up the stat sheet, but he was a good outside shooter, and often was forced to defend the other team’s best player.
Lenard was one of the best shooters I have ever seen. His shot looked so effortless and smooth, and he is someone I always emulated when trying to perfect my own jump shot. He played two different stints for the Nuggets, his second of which was during the Nuggets resurgence of the early 2000s, and he played a huge role for those teams.
Williams weighed as much as I do now, but was about 10 inches taller. He was skinny, long, and smooth, hence his nickname “silk." He was one of the best scorers on the Nuggets teams of the early 90s, yet he was quiet and unassuming. He was one of my favorite players to watch at that time.
Najera was a key member of the Nuggets teams of the late 2000s who were incredibly fun to watch, but never could get past the hurdle of the first round of the playoffs. The quintessential energy guy off the bench, Najera never put up big stats, but played a pivotal role. He truly gave 110 percent every time he was in the game and made life difficult for the other team.
When people think of the Nuggets teams in the 80s, a few names immediately come to mind; Alex English, Kiki Vandeweghe, Fat Lever were all dynamic, and were the face of the Nuggets, but T.R. Dunn was the heart. He was one of the most fierce defenders of the 80s and had a motor that never quit. He did the dirty work that often got overlooked.
Van Exel was one of the only bright spots on the Nuggets teams of the late 90s, and certainly was one of the only exciting players they had on the roster. Nick the quick was just that: quick and difficult to guard. He was also one of the best three-point shooters in Nuggets history. His place in this franchise’s history is often overlooked due to the poor quality of the teams he played on.
Adams was one of my favorite players to watch, but like Van Exel, his place is often lost amongst the all-time greats of this franchise. He was incredibly quick, had great court vision, and despite an extremely awkward shooting motion, was one of the most prolific shooters in the history of the Nuggets.
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