DENVER – Nuggets head coach Michael Malone got teary-eyed reflecting on a historic season during the championship parade and celebration Thursday afternoon downtown.
Malone said Jared Bednar, the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche – who paraded through the same downtown streets a little less than a year ago as Stanley Cup champs – told him the reality of being champions didn’t hit him until the parade.
“It’s hitting me now,” Malone said in an interview with Altitude Sports’ Chris Dempsey during special joint coverage of the parade airing on Denver7.
“For me to share this with our fans means the world to me,” he said. “This is an amazing experience.”
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Malone credited the front office, his coaching staff and players for a celebration, 47 years in the making, that he “believed would happen.”
“I’m so happy, not for me, not for our players, but for our fans,” he said.
“Thank you [to the fans] for being patient, thank you for believing in us. We couldn’t have done this without you.”
In that interview, Malone said he wanted to be back celebrating back-to-back championships. Later, in an address to the crowd at Civic Center Park, he took it a step further, starting a chant for a Nuggets dynasty.
The Nuggets, of course, have many of their core players under contract for next season. They closed out the 2022-23 season as favorites to repeat as champions in 2024.