Dan Issel is intertwined with the Denver Nuggets more so than anyone. He led the Nuggets for nine years as a player and for two different tenures as head coach and head coach/General Manager.
Nicknamed the “Horse” because of his durability, he only missed twenty-four games throughout a fifteen-year professional career. Issel first made a name for himself as a center at the University of Kentucky. There he scored 2,138 points beneath the tutelage of legendary coach Adolph Rupp. Issel averaged 33.9 points per game his senior year, earning All-American honors.
After an impressive college career in which he set twenty-three school records, Issel opted to play for the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. He subsequently established himself as one of the ABA’s greats by averaging 25.6 points per game in over 500 games, and in 1975, he led the Colonels to an ABA championship.
In 1976, Issel joined the Nuggets and embarked on a stellar NBA career in which he set nearly every offensive team record. In 1992, Issel received the NBA’s ultimate accolade, induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nicknamed the “Horse” because of his durability, he only missed twenty-four games throughout a fifteen-year professional career.