Let me just say that I enjoyed Nick the Quick’s tenure with Denver from 1998-2001. I met him in person at the 2000 NBA All-Star game, and he seemed like a nice enough guy during that brief encounter.
That all changed in 2001 when Nick blew up, frustrated from all the losing in Denver. Certainly can’t blame him for that, as Nick’s a fierce competitor. But, to publicly demand a trade in the middle of a season is going a bit far. Shortly thereafter, Issel fired back at a fan after a loss in an inappropriate manner and ended up resigning as Coach and President of the Nuggets, ending a great history with the Nuggets on a sour note. Maybe it would have happened anyway, but when your star point guard that you personally rewarded with a large contract demands to be traded, it would definitely raise your stress level. Anyway, the whole season dragged on, and Nick kept re-iterating his desire to be traded. Resentment just grew and grew during a very frustrating season. When he was finally traded to Dallas in February 2002, it was well past time for him to go.
So, most Nuggets fans have booed Nick every time he’s shown up since then in Denver. He played well for Denver, but its hard to get past the whole trade demand thing and the way he left. The funny thing is every time Nick shows up in Denver, he comments to the media about not understanding why we boo him. Nick, Nick – we wouldn’t be booing with you if you had worked out a trade behind the scenes. Instead your public battle to leave hurt Nuggets fans and the Nuggets organization. Its hard to forgive that.
Now with Golden State, Nick commented after getting beat twice in the same week by the new-look, surging Nuggets, that we should thank him for our newfound success.
“If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t be 13-6 now,” Van Exel said . “Right now, they ought to be thanking me.”
Huh? Yes, we cleared a lot of cap space when Nick was traded, clearing room for Miller, Boykins, Lenard, and Barry to be signed, but how do you see yourself getting credit for that? Are you admitting that you weren’t good enough to help Denver win ballgames?
So, good luck to you in Golden State Nick, but I for one will still continue to boo you every time you step foot in Denver. That’s just the way it is.