1997-1998 Nuggets News

Nuggets News


May/June, 1998

Corey Alexander, who can be traced back to when the Nuggets first started making a push at "The Quest for 10" is interested in staying in Denver! He recently asked his agent to make a deal with the Nuggets to stay in Denver, expressing that he likes the area and the team. Corey came over from San Antonio after they asked them to waive him so he could hopefully find more playing time elsewhere. He has in Denver, and has hugely helped the Nuggets to a 5-9 record since he showed up over a month ago. With Corey running the point, the Nuggets have been a better team. I'm not trying to slam Bobby, but maybe he can move back to his natural shooting guard position in a small line-up offense.

 

The Quest For 10 is Over!

As Van Earl Wright would say on Fox Sports Net - "What in the world, what in the world... the Nuggets win!"

The Nuggets finally did it - they pulled off the big 10th win, avoiding the stigma of being associated with the Philadelphia 76ers and the worst NBA season ever. Now, the Nuggets will just look back on a long and incredibly bad season, but not one that will be dwelled on by the media around the world for years to come.

 


March/April, 1998

Oh boy, the Nuggets have put the scare back into myself and my buddy Dane. They looked horrible against the lowly Dallas Mavericks. Even with their one true star player - Michael Finley, sitting most of the night on the bench, the Nuggets just couldn't muster up any energy for more than a few moments at a time.

The Horse is back!

Dan Issel rejoins the Nuggets organization as its new GM! I personally think this is a great move for the organization, and a quick and easy way to bring some respect back to the franchise - before next years free agent signing and draft picks come in.

"After 10 years as a player and 2 years as a coach, I have as much sweat and
tears and joy in this organization as anybody, and I want to get it back there
for the basketball fans of Denver," said Issel, who signed a three-year deal
with Ascent Entertainment Group, which owns the Nuggets.

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Bernie? Not the Nuggets, even after he did his best to destroy this franchise before leaving to take the coaching reigns in Washington. His team was up on our mighty Nuggets by 8 with 4 minutes to go, but the boys dug deep and came up with their third huge victory in the last four games. That's also two road games and two wins against +.500 teams now! There were many heros and efforts, as there has to be get this kind of a win, but two stand out for now. Anthony Goldwire for hitting the huge three to put Denver up by 1 point with 7 seconds to go, and Coach Bill Hanzlik for drawing up an excellent play - AND going for the win rather than overtime. Much more on this game tomorrow, after I catch up on sleep! Go NUGGETS!

Danny Fortson, the rookie that the Nuggets took with the 10th pick in the draft this year, is really looking good. He works hard every game, and has developed some powerful, and consistent low-post moves. He's earned himself more playing time, a spot in the starting line-up and has done better at avoiding early foul trouble. Keep it up Danny - we need your efforts to get 10 wins!


February/March, 1998

Nuggets Win!

blazerspic.jpg (13955 bytes)Cool - I'm leaving this graphic up, because its still the latest news. The Nuggets have put together their first winning streak of the year, and man does it feel good. This is actually the first back-to-back wins the Nuggets have had since February 1997! This is also the first victory of the season against a club that's over .500! (the Blazers were 35-26 coming into this game) Ah, but it all boils down to a sweet Nuggets victory. You can read more about the win in my last Nuggets game summary. Yesterday, the Nuggets helped Bobby Jackson celebrate his 25th birthday in style, with a huge cake sent in from Converse (whom Bobby is a spokesman for). Having the victory over Vancouver to celebrate helped the party a bit too. Speaking of Bobby, good news - his broken finger has healed and who could be ready to suit up again very soon.

That's right - the big news is that the Nuggets won their 6th game of the season, causing me to happily update the Quest graphic! In the 13 games this season that have been decided by 5 points or less - the Nuggs are now 1-12. Coach Hanzlik finally won his first close game! Go to my archived Nuggets game summaries for more on the victory!

Ex-Nugget Antonio McDyess arrived in Denver with his Phoenix Suns to play the Nuggets for a second time this year. After sitting out a game against the Clippers after fighting with Hakeem Olajuwon over the weekend. Welcome back Antonio - and we miss you playing for the Nugs!

Ex-Nugget Dikembe Mutombo strolled into town, now as a mighty member of the Atlanta Hawks. Dikembe has done very well for himself since leaving the Nuggets, playing well for them both offensively and defensively for one of the top teams in the East. He also made a return appearance to the All-Star game this year.

Bad news and good news on the injury front. Bobby Jackson is out for 4-6 weeks as he recovers from a broken finger that he suffered in a recent blowout loss to the Lakers. The good news is that Bryant Stith has returned for limited action in the last few games. Welcome back Bryant!

Tensions are rising after the Nuggets have settled back into a losing streak after getting 3 wins in 7 games around the All-Star break. The rookies have been snapping at the veterans in the press, Bobby Jackson was forced out of the starting line-up after mouthing off to an assistant coach, and LaPhonso Ellis looks more frustrated with every game. Most of these issues have been dealt with in a positive way by Hanzlik and the other players - but it hasn't helped the Nuggets win any more ballgames since the Boston victory.


January/February, 1998

Congratulations to Bobby Jackson and Danny Fortson. Both played in the Rookie All-Star game, and both played well. If the West's team had won, Bobby would have probably won MVP honors for his performance - 15 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals.

I've been to the last 6 Nuggets/Bulls games in Denver, and there have been some great games in the series, but it wasn't the case this year. The Nuggs were drummed by a lethargic Bulls team by 39 points... 

The Nuggets followed up getting pounded by New Jersey by beating up on the Mavericks for the first home win in quite some time. The Nuggets came out with intensity, dunking on Dallas time and time again - including the first dunk in Bobby Jackson's pro career.

The Nuggets avoided several futility streaks with a huge win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. The all-time consecutive losing streak is still safely a tie between Vancouver and this year's Nuggets. It was also their first win on the road in 22 games, dating back to last season, which set a Nuggets franchise record. The Nuggets finally remembered what it takes to win again, and hopefully the taste will linger long enough to get a couple more W's in the win column against some beatable teams over the next week.

Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on winning the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers! Way to go John and Terrell! When your bodies heal, could you come root for the Nuggets and pass on some of that new Denver sports magic to our baskteball team?

I've added some additional pictures to the picture vault. I also added a new picture of LaPhonso above to better represent the spirit of this page, and of what the Nuggets recently were - a competitive team.

Old news on the injury front. Bryant Stith had successful foot surgery on 12/11, but won't see action on the court again until probably March..


December, 1998

The Nuggets continue to struggle in each and every game. Their talent level is inferior to most of the top teams in the league. However, we're now consistently being beaten by teams with talent levels closer to ours - even in the friendly confines of McNichols arena. What gives?

Antonio McDyess returned to Denver in his first game against his former team. He hugged both Laphonso Ellis and Bryant Stith, and then realized that he hardly knew any of the other players sitting on the Nuggets bench. Anthony Goldwire and George Zidek were the only two other players from last year's team while McDyess was still here. McDyess had an ok game, hampered by foul trouble most of the game before fouling out with 7 minutes left in the 4th, but he did show some of the amazing things he did while here in Denver. He had a few monster slams, and shot well from the floor.


Beginning of the 97-98 Season

Injury report: Bad, sadEric Williams is injured. news Nuggets fans. Eric Williams, the Nuggets young free-agent pickup from Boston, who was leading the team in scoring (19.8 ppg) this season and was well on his way to his best year in the NBA, was diagnosed  with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery but will most likely be out the majority of this season. LaPhonso Ellis's return will hopefully be able to eventually take up most of the slack in Williams abcense. So much for adding to the depth with LaPhonso returning...

Other things going on in the early part of  the 1997-1998 season:

  • Pepsi Center - the Nuggets will finally have a new arena, which will be built and completed near Coors Field in 1999.
  • New coach - ex Nugget Bill Hanzlik, from the Doug Moe era.
  • 4 new players from the 1997 draft - Tony Battie, Danny Fortson, Bobby Jackson, Eric Washington

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