Ranking the Best Jersey Designs in Denver Nuggets History

Nick Juskewycz@@NickJuskewyczContributor IIIAugust 23, 2013

Ranking the Best Jersey Designs in Denver Nuggets History

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    In the 46 years of the Denver Nuggets, each jersey design has represented an era of a star player and some type of postseason success. 

    In the early years, Bobby Jones wore the pickaxe uniforms when Denver made the 1976 ABA Finals. Alex English stood out with the rainbow-city logo when the Nuggets made the playoffs nine-consecutive years. 

    More recently, Dikembe Mutombo displayed the navy blue, dark gold and red when the Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to knock off a No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs. Carmelo Anthony introduced the powder blue in 2003 and Denver hasn't missed the postseason since.

    Some designs have been just average, but there are a few that you either think are stylish and outstanding, or horrible and foolish.

    Will those jerseys finish in the top five? 

5. 1993-2003

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    As the Nuggets started their downswing in the early '90s, they decided it was time for a substantial change. 

    Not only were there new jerseys, the logo was completely different. Denver also combined dark versions of blue, gold and red.

    As far as wins go, it wasn't pretty. The Nuggets recorded a .359 winning percentage in the 10 years of this simple-looking uniform.

    However, the first two seasons were different, as the Nuggets made the playoffs back-to-back years and defeated the No. 1 Seattle SuperSonics in 1994. Additionally, with Mutombo, Antonio McDyess and Marcus Camby all wearing this jersey at one point, shot-blocking was through the roof. 

    The design was straightforward with "Nuggets" reading across both the home and away uniforms. The road jerseys had a little more flavor to them, but they were decent at best.

4. 1974-1977

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    Most jersey designs involve just the team name or some kind of harmless background. But when Denver changed its name from the Rockets to the Nuggets, the franchise slapped a pickaxe right in front for everyone to see.

    Going back to a time when Jones, Byron Beck, Dan Issel and David Thompson were all on the team, the Nuggets made a lot of noise in professional basketball. In two seasons with the ABA and one with the NBA, they went a combined 175-75 with the unique jersey.

    Making a statement like that with a pickaxe is pretty cool.

    The downside was the difficulty in reading the word "Nuggets" on the home uniforms and "Denver" on the road jerseys. Having blue, red and yellow all that visible was kind of odd too.

    Nevertheless, the design was awesome and these jerseys should be used as throwback uniforms a few times each season in the future.

3. Alternate, 2012-Present

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    Just last season, Denver brought back the '80s and early '90s model in dramatic fashion.

    Instead of going with a navy blue or black alternative color, the Nuggets put their high-flying offense in bright gold. It's not like you could miss Kenneth Faried or JaVale McGee flying through the air, but the Nuggets made sure they would be in the spotlight.

    While the colors on this version are different, the original jersey had rainbow stripes running across the buildings and mountains that represent the city of Denver. Still, the colors on the alternate are gold and different shades of blue, which have been the two of the primary colors during most of the franchise's history. 

    If these were more than alternate uniforms, it would be too much. But occasionally bringing them out for big games is a neat way to remember the days of English and Fat Lever.

    Hopefully they stick around longer than the previous alternates.

2. 2003-Present

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    When Denver initiated the sky blue in 2003, everything changed.

    The Nuggets found Carmelo Anthony in the NBA draft, they snapped their eight-year losing streak and are still wearing these jerseys today (with some minor tweaks).

    If you think the light blue makes Denver look soft, I'm not buying it.

    In six of the last nine years, the Nuggets have finished first or second in fast-break points. They've also finished in the top five in rebounding five of the last seven seasons.

    The home-white uniforms with the blue lettering and gold trim saying "Nuggets" are also sweet. They're trendy, yet clean. 

    Even though the Nuggets have kept this look for the last 10 years and Melo is no longer on the team, they shouldn't abandon these jerseys anytime soon. They look slick.

1. 1982-1993

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    You either love or hate the rainbow-city logo. I'm a big fan.

    In an era when most jersey designs were simple, the Nuggets went the opposite way. They were creative, flashy and fascinating. 

    This pattern was introduced on navy blue uniforms, but it looked more appealing on the royal blue ones that originated in 1985. Some of the greatest Nuggets players of all time rocked these colorful jerseys.

    They were introduced just after when Doug Moe took over as head coach, and the offense was speeding up-and-down the court. Having a dominating outfit and pace of play was an excellent combination.

    Furthermore, I'm admitting my nerdiness here, but the use of uppercase and lowercase letters with the word "Nuggets" is fantastic. The capitalized, but lowercase "n" with the smaller-looking uppercase "GG" in the middle, blend in superbly and give the finished product an outstanding look.

    A round of applause to the Nuggets for using this design as an alternate jersey today.

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