After a grueling NBA season, the Denver Nuggets finally got to relax. The team held its championship parade in Denver on Thursday, and thousands of fans showed up to support the club.
Given the celebratory nature of the event, players and coaches were more loose than usual, which is not out of the ordinary as these things go. Coach Michael Malone was among those who had the most fun, showing up in an excellent T-shirt and guaranteeing another championship.
Michael Malone: "What a great day to celebrate a championship, but we're not done yet. We some greedy bastards, baby. We're getting another one!" pic.twitter.com/L540rfqHmC
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) June 15, 2023
It's tough to see Malone's T-shirt in that shot, but it featured an image of the Larry O'Brien trophy with the words "put that in your pipe and smoke it" above it. That quote is a reference to something Malone said after Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 15, 2023
Following that game, which the Nuggets won, Malone said the national media only cared about the Lakers and their adjustments. He said the Nuggets were motivated by that and added, "So, you know, you put that in your pipe, you smoke it and you come back and, you know what, we're going to go up 2-0."
The Nuggets followed through on Malone's promise, beating the Lakers in Game 2. The team also won Game 3 and Game 4, sweeping Los Angeles to advance to the NBA Finals.
Nikola Jokić shows up and displays his 'lost' Finals MVP trophy
Nuggets big man Nikola Jokić just wants to go home and be with his horses. But Jokić also recognized the importance of being at the team's championship parade. Jokić not only showed up for the event, he also showed off his NBA Finals MVP trophy, which he previously said he lost.
Jokic's Finals MVP trophy has been FOUND 🏆 pic.twitter.com/jwykmsKQe6
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 15, 2023
Following the Nuggets Game 5 win, Jokić expressed concern that the parade would cause him to miss his horses race in Serbia on Sunday. He "joked" that he would ask Josh Kroenke, son of team owner Stan Kroenke, to borrow a private plane to make it back to Serbia in time for the races.
Jokić confirmed he initially did not want to stay for the parade, but changed his mind once he was there, profanely telling fans he wanted to stay.
Christian Braun had the best time at the Nuggets' parade
Rookie Christian Braun really let loose at the championship parade. To kick things off, Braun showed up with a WWE championship belt.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 15, 2023
He also took some time to mingle with the fans. Braun hopped off the fire truck at one point and decided to high five fans at the parade.
He wasn't the only player to have some fun. Bruce Brown did his best J.R. Smith impression and showed up to the parade shirtless.
"I feel amazing, this is amazing"
Bruce Brown in rare form at Nuggets parade 😂 pic.twitter.com/UfJWr5Ock2
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) June 15, 2023
The whole scene was surreal for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was left speechless by the fan support at the parade.
"First ever championship, I'm just enjoying being a part of history."
KCP goes on to thank the "unbelievable fans" as Jeff Green interacts with the crowd during Denver's championship parade, live on NBA TV!
Follow the parade in the NBA App: https://t.co/Y9eOWIeBoi pic.twitter.com/Rwb28VORJT
— NBA (@NBA) June 15, 2023
This story will be updated.