Like most teams in the NBA the Denver Nuggets have a few former colleagues in the NBA Finals.
SCOTT BROOKS: Brooks is probably the biggest connection with the Nuggets in the finals. He is in his fourth season as the Thunder coach, after replacing PJ Carlesimo – who was fired in 2008. Brooks actually got his start at coaching as an assistant with the Nuggets. He was first an assistant with Jeff Bzdelik and then George Karl. He even coached four games to for the Nuggets in the 2005 season when Karl was suspended. He was an assistant with the Nuggets until 2007 when he moved over to be an assistant with the Sacramento Kings and then the Thunder. Brooks even played for six teams during his 10 seasons in the NBA, but never played for the Nuggets.
JUWAN HOWARD: At the age of 39, Howard is riding the pine with the Miami Heat to win his first NBA title. During his prime, Howard played a season-in-half with the Nuggets before leaving as a free agent in 2003. He averaged 18.4 points and 7.6 rebounds with the Nuggets in 2003 and provided leadership for Denver’s young players. Denver traded for Howard to free up salary cap, the Nuggets had to trade Nick Van Exel, Raef LaFrentz, Avery Johnson and Tariq Abdul-Wahad for Howard. Howard came back and played three games for the Nuggets in 2008 but Denver waived him early in the season.
MARK BRYANT: Bryant is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Thunder. He spent 15 years playing in the NBA, and even played three games (14 minutes) with the Nuggets in 2003. He was dealt to the Nuggets in a three-way trade that sent James Posey to Houston, Kenny Thomas to Philadelphia and a first-round pick and Bryant to Denver. Two months later the Nuggets traded Bryant and Mark Blount for Shammond Williams and a second-round pick.
REGGIE JACKSON: The Thunders’ first round pick is from Colorado Springs. He played 45 games and averaged 3.1 points.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: The most hated player on Oklahoma City played at UCLA with Arron Afflalo of the Nuggets.
DEXTER PITTMAN: The little-used big man for the Heat played one season with Denver’ Jordan Hamilton at Texas.
Topics: Arron Afflalo, Avery Johnson, Denver Nuggets, Dexter Pittman, George Karl, James Posey, Jeff Bzdelik, Jordan Hamilton, Juwan Howard, Kenny Thomas, Mark Blount, Mark Bryant, Miami Heat, Nick Van Exel, Oklahoma City Thunder, PJ Carlesimo, Raef Lafrentz, Reggie Jackson, Russell Westbrook, Scott Brooks, Shammond Williams