The Denver Nuggets are your 2022-23 NBA Champions. And one of the many perks of being NBA Champions (other than basketball immortality) is that your team gets to participate in a championship parade. On Thursday, the Nuggets did just that. Here are some highlights from the celebration.
Let’s start with Christian Braun. The rookie only averaged under one assist per game on the season, but he was in the mood to drop some dimes on Thursday. However, he wasn’t passing a basketball. He was passing around beers.
Like Braun receiving a feed from Nikola Jokic, the fan was ecstatic when he was tossed the “brewski.” He explained the story to Denver media after the fact. “He just looked right at me, and I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m the one, bro. Come on, send it my way.’ And as soon as he did, he launched it, I f****** caught it, and it’s just a history story after that.”
Outside of basketball and winning, the central theme of the parade was definitely beer, especially as far as now-two-time NBA Champion Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was concerned. Watching him out there, he looked less like he was basking in the glory of his achievement and more like he was training to be in the remake of the movie “Beerfest.”
When Caldwell-Pope won his last NBA title, he did so alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But you know who else was on that team? None other than JR Smith – the man famous for his shirtless celebrations during the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade in 2016.
It seems like Caldewell-Pope must have picked up a thing or two about proper parade etiquette from being around Smith, as he was also rocking the shirtless look while, you guessed it, pounding down some beers.
All the alcohol that was circulating had Nuggets head coach Michael Malone feeling bold. He was feeling so bold that he started talking about back-to-back titles. “I’ve got a crazy idea. Let’s do this shit again.”
But maybe that wasn’t just the alcohol talking. After all, immediately after their series-clinching victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5, Malone expressed his desire to repeat as world champions. When you really think about it, it’s ironic that Malone pulled out his best Pat Riley impression right after beating the legend himself.
Overall, the parade was a blast. In fact, it was so much fun that Jokic, despite expressing his desire to go home (and having his wife attacked by a flying beer can), admitted that he did actually he wanted to be there.
Nikola Jokic: “You know that I told you I didn’t want to stay for the parade. But I fucking want to stay for the parade.” pic.twitter.com/THI3W58PKa
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) June 15, 2023
Finally, Jokic is conceding that winning championships is fun! And he and the rest of the Nuggets’ organization should keep enjoying this moment. They sure as hell earned it.