• Original Reporting
Original Reporting This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but Denver has a professional basketball team. The team (known first as the Denver Larks, then the Rockets, then the Nuggets) migrated from the American Basketball Association in 1976 after losing the final ABA championship to the New York Nets. The Denver Nuggets have had some great moments since then, but none have resulted in the hoisting of championship hardware. Until now! (Possibly.)

After the Nuggets’ impressive 104-93 win over the Miami Heat Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA finals, there’s plenty of time to catch up on the Mile High City’s most recent title contenders before Game 2 tips off at 6 p.m. Sunday. Here are answers to all your band-wagoneering questions:

What is a bandwagon?

Fans who begin supporting a team only when it is on the verge of success; they will abandon that team when they stink (i.e., soon). (Don’t get us started with talk among television analysts who say the so-called lack of star power among Denver Nuggets or Miami Heat players will hurt the ratings of the series.)

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

If the Nuggets are a clown car, who is the head clown?

Glad you asked! That would be the Serbian supernova Nikola Jokić, i.e. “The Joker.” He is also known as “Cookie Monster,” “The Big Tipper,” “Yoke” and  “Big Honey.”

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

None of those nicknames sound very intimidating. Is this Joker any good?

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

OK, OK, very impressive. But statistics are boring. What else is there to know about this Joker guy?

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

With all those accomplishments, he must have won the NBA Most Valuable Player award this year, right?

Actually, that’s an awkward question.

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Are there other notable Nuggets?

It takes a hoops village, people!

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

They play at the Pepsi Center, right?

Jeez. Where have you been? Since 2020, the home of Denver’s NBA and NHL teams has been called Ball Arena, and this year the Nuggets are 9-0 in playoff games there. There are home-court conditions our guys are used to — and visitors are not.

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Can they win it all?

Don’t bet against the Joker. Though he doesn’t really care, one way or another, he makes the biggest stage in the NBA look like a postage stamp

(Peter Moore, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Peter Moore is a writer and illustrator who lives in Fort Collins. You’ll find even more of his drawings/weirdness at