There has been pandemonium at Ball Arena for many, many years, but it simply couldn’t compare to the pandemonium at Civic Center Park on Thursday morning.

The Denver Nuggets held their championship parade on Thursday, a little under 72 hours after winning the first championship in franchise history. Michael Malone went crazy, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić soaked it all in with trophies in hand, and the entire Denver Nuggets team was able to bask in the glory of winning. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shotgunned some beers, Aaron Gordon was an entire vibe, and Christian Braun just walked into a bar after the celebration to continue pumping up Nuggets fans. It felt like every Nuggets player had their own personal moment with the fans, and it was great to witness in person.

For Nuggets fans themselves, there’s nothing quite like your first, and the scene was unbelievable. According to initial estimates from Denver police, around 700,000 to 1,000,000 people showed up in downtown Denver to celebrate the Nuggets. From personal experience, it was an absolute nightmare trying to find parking. Never in my life have I seen downtown Denver so packed, because it felt like the entire city was outside celebrating the team.

Jun 15, 2023; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets fans celebrate during the championship parade after the Denver Nuggets won the 2023 NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After not being on television via Comcast for the last few years, I had some questions as to the actual size of Denver’s fan base, whether it would show up for such an event. It’s hard not to be able to watch your team, and Nuggets fans have suffered at the hands of a major television dispute for a while.

Those questions were answered extremely quickly. From the moment I reach Downtown, I could feel the love and the joy from the Nuggets fan base, etched across each face and heard in every exclamation. The fans wanted to share this moment with the team, and they wanted to do it together.

When the team finally reached the stage, the entirety of Civic Center Park was packed out. Coaches were introduced, Calvin Booth spoke first to Nuggets fans and got the crowd going, but the real hit was Michael Malone. The Nuggets head coach has been boisterous in his public support of the team, no matter what the consequence. The Nuggets backed up all of his talk, and Malone basked in the moment on stage. He was a crowd favorite for sure.

Then, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić, Jeff Green, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious, Caldwell-Pope, and Bruce Brown all spoke. They each brought their own personalities to the event, with Jokić and Brown, probably being the highlights.

Joker told the crowd that he was actually very happy to be here and share this moment with the city, contrary to what he had said on his interview. 

Brown, like the pot-stirrer he is on the court, asked Nuggets fans quite simply: “One more year?” to the utter delight of Nuggets fans.

After the players spoke, the event began to wrap up. There were additional proclamations made and celebratory moments, but the bulk of the parade was complete. Nuggets fans were euphoric with many chants and cheers popping up all over the place. It was a perfect moment of celebration for the team.

With this championship, the Nuggets are finally sitting at the table with other local teams, officially christened into the city’s hearts and minds. The Colorado Avalanche and Denver Broncos are the two other teams among Colorado’s core four sports to win championships. Only the Colorado Rockies remain in that regard.

Being there today, you would never have known that the Broncos are considered king. Downtown was absolutely on fire for Nuggets support. It shows that the city is big enough to be a basketball town too, and that if the team continues to have success, the town will be there for them.

The Comcast dispute, while a big story, clearly hasn’t put out the fire in the hearts of Nuggets faithful. The passion was clearly felt, and Nuggets players appeared overjoyed to be celebrated in such a way. It’s high time for the television dispute to end, because when it does, Nuggets fans are starving to watch this team.

After 47 long years, the city of Denver has fully adopted the Nuggets. Here’s to the next championship being a lot sooner than this one.