LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Thousands of supporters watched along the streets of Denver on Thursday as the NBA champion Nuggets celebrated their first league crown with a victory parade.
Three days after beating the Miami Heat to win the best-of-seven NBA Finals in five games, the Nuggets showed off a championship trophy finally captured after 47 NBA campaigns.
With cigars being lit and champagne and beer flowing, players waved to supporters. NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and teammate Jamal Murray rode in a fire truck retractable ladder bucket as the crowd cheered block after block.
“This is amazing. This is unreal,” Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon said. “I never imagined this at all.”
The crowd stunned Nuggets swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
“I’m overwhelmed. There are so many people out here,” he said. “I’m excited everybody has come to cheer us on. Look at the crowd. It’s crazy. I’m just enjoying being a part of history. I love it. Unbelievable fans.”
Nuggets coach Michael Malone said seeing all the fans screaming their joy was bringing home the impact of the team’s achievement.
“It’s starting to hit me,” Malone said. “Being with my closest friends, lining these streets on the parade route, this is love, man. This is support. This is 47 years in the making. Unbelievable. So proud of this moment.
Malone also stressed his feeling that the Nuggets had more titles in them.
“Thanks to Nuggets Nation. I appreciate your patience,” he said. “What a great day to celebrate this championship. But we’re not done yet.”