Every NBA team’s Mount Rushmore

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 8: Michael Jordan
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 8: Michael Jordan /
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Denver Nuggets

Alex English was a slithery 6-foot-7 small forward and, for ten-and-a-half seasons with the Denver Nuggets, one of the most prolific scorers in the league. English averaged 25.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game in Denver, leading the league in scoring during the 1982-83 season. He is still the franchise’s all-time leader in games, minutes, points and assists. The Nuggets made nine consecutive playoff appearances with English on the team.

Dan Issel came with the Nuggets when the ABA merged with the NBA and manned the middle for the team as they found their footing in a new league. A mobile big who could run the floor in Denver’s uptempo attack, Issel averaged 20.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in nine NBA seasons for the Nuggets. Only English has played more games and minutes in a Nuggets uniform and Issel is still the franchise’s all-time leader in free throws and rebounds.

Dikembe Mutombo played just five seasons for the Nuggets but he was there for the team’s most iconic moment. In the 1994 playoffs, he helped Denver overcome an 0-2 deficit on their way to an upset victory over the top-seeded Seattle Supersonics in a best-of-five first round series. It was the first time in NBA history that a No. 8 seed defeated a No. 1 seed. Mutombo also led the league in block three times in his five seasons with the Nuggets, winning Defensive Player of the Year for the 1994-95 season.

Carmelo Anthony didn’t leave Denver on the best of terms but for seven-and-a-half seasons he led the team to considerable success. Anthony led the Nuggets to the playoffs every season he was in Denver, including as a rookie in 2003-04 — the team’s first playoff appearance in eight years. Anthony averaged 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for Denver, and only Issel and English have played more more minutes or scored more points in the organization’s history.