After 47 years in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets have finally achieved their dream of winning the NBA championship. In a thrilling Game 5 against the Miami Heat, the Nuggets captured their first-ever title in front of a raucous home crowd. The victory was a collective team effort, with every member of the roster contributing to the Nuggets' style of play. However, it was the partnership of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray that generated an environment where everyone could thrive, feel empowered, and play freely.
Jokic and Murray became the first pair of teammates to ever average 25-5-5 through four playoff series, cementing themselves as one of the sport's most impressive duos. The Nuggets' top-tier camaraderie simply won't allow individuals to absorb all the credit. Jokic was unanimously named the 2023 Finals MVP, becoming the 11th player in NBA history to accumulate a Finals MVP and two regular season MVPs.
The Nuggets' success was not overnight, and it may not even come until nearly a decade into the process of doing what you love. With the right dedication and a culture centered on trust and continuity, the journey will create powerful relationships and a special on-court product that others envy. Having superstar talent doesn't guarantee anything. It's all about the pieces around the future Hall-of-Famers that will determine how far a team can advance.
The Nuggets had to be malleable to reach this status. They made significant adjustments to their defensive personnel and brought more high-IQ players into the mix, which proved crucial to their success. The championship was a teaching moment for the rest of the league, with one valuable lesson that should stick with everyone.
Once you taste victory and prove you have the winning formula, the next part is staying greedy. With Jokic and Murray entering their prime years, there's no reason the Nuggets should be doubted ever again. Other teams around the league are going through coaching changes or have older cores that won't have the shelf life of this team. As long as those two are in uniform, the Denver Nuggets aren't going anywhere.