The Denver Nuggets were embroiled in controversy during a portion of former player/head coach/GM Dan Issel
's reign as head coach. It seems that "The Horse" (as he was known during his days as a player) had just about had all he could take one night, what with the Nuggets sucking it up as badly as they have of late. Irate, and possibly fatigued, he shouted several unintelligent-sounding racial
epithets at a Hispanic
fan, who had shouted several unintelligent-sounding suggestions to Coach Issel earlier in the game.
Suffice to say, Denver lacks sufficient ways to spend its free time, and this story was all over the newspapers for the better part of a week. Following all the hubub, ruckus, and general opinion-sounding of various representatives from all over the state (including people that had little or nothing to do with the incident), Dan tearfully and dramatically stepped down from his two positions in a carefully choreographed media event, ending his career with the Denver Nuggets on one of the worst possible notes he could have.
(updated as of 7/28/04)
On a much better note, the 2003-2004 basketball season saw an impressively dramatic turnaround in the performance of the beloved Denver Nuggets. Led by Carmelo Anthony, widely considered to be among the top college athletes of his generation, the Nuggets were, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, actually fun to watch for the first time in years. Actually compiling a record that was good enough to get them into the playoffs (first time in about 9 years), they lost 4 games to 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, another team that had historically been rather crummy, but has begun to turn it around in recent years.