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What if the Nuggets were Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen... Juancho, and Beasley, and Harris, and Murray...

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just two days away. I’ve recently had to remind myself to slow down and take in the season to get in the mood for the big day. As such, I’ve decided to partake in the annual cheesy Christmas tunes. I enjoy most of it but, there’s none quite like, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” to get me in the spirit. I’d imagine it’s a childhood memory that has me so fond of this song into my thirties, and I don’t mind admitting that I will totally jam out to that song when it comes on in the car.

Santa’s reindeer have it tough as they have have to navigate some tough situations on Christmas Eve. Landing on all kinds of different roofs, and enduring varying weather patterns can’t be easy, but somehow they survive the night every year. It’s actually pretty impressive if you ask me.

It sort of reminds me of how the Nuggets are navigating the challenges of this season. Coach Mike Malone is a far cry from Santa, but his reindeer squad are working to get the Nuggets through the long night to the playoffs.

So, for fun, let’s pretend the Nuggets are actually Santa’s reindeer and see how they’d measure up on the big night. (For those who might interpret this comparison literally, please note that there are only ten reindeer I’ve listed below, and there are more than ten Denver Nuggets. Some players are not represented. Again, this is just for fun.) provides a handy breakdown of the personalities of the famous North Pole Cerivdae, so without further adieu, here is your official breakdown of the Denver Nuggets expressed as Santa’s reindeer.

Dasher: Juancho Hernangomez:

Dasher is one of the fastest reindeer in Santa’s herd—meaning he lives a fast lifestyle traveling all over the world. He even spent some vacation time in Ibiza recently. His reindeer friends describe him as happy go lucky with a big heart. While he’s working, Dasher is always willing and eager to help, and Santa can count on him to bring a cheerful attitude every day. Off duty, Dasher is known to be a social butterfly, and he loves a good party.

Dancer: Malik Beasley (DUH!)

Dancer, as the name indicates, loves to show off his moves. He brings the fun to the reindeer games, and keeps everyone’s mood light-hearted. A complete extrovert, Dancer is very popular among the elf fan base and he’s the first one up for getting a party started. Dancer also has excellent hand-eye coordination that allows him to move past obstacles easily. The reindeer can rely on him to get them out of a bind in close-call situations.

Prancer: Kenneth Faried

Prancer is known for his gracefulness and athleticism. He cares about fashion, and he certainly doesn’t mind being the center of attention. At work, Prancer is eager to help his friends with anything if they’re in a bind. His enthusiasm and high energy helps the reindeer make it through traveling long distances with little rest. Prancer also thinks out loud, so no matter what he’s feeling, everyone will know about it.

Vixen: Gary Harris

Vixen is the magician of the herd. Other reindeer that live in the North Pole have been known to get annoyed with the tricks that Vixen plays on them. However, Santa loves Vixen because his tricks come in very handy on Christmas Eve. Vixen has a reputation for being incredibly smart, and he’s always cool, calm and collected. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy for him to steal the candy canes away from the other reindeer.

Comet: Paul Millsap

Comet is the strong and stable leader of Santa’s reindeer. All the younger reindeer look up to him, and Santa really loves this about Comet. Before the big day, Santa and Comet go talk to the other reindeer together to see how they’re doing and make sure they’re ready for action. The other reindeer flock to him because he’s approachable and they can confide in him with their fears and weaknesses. On the job, Comet provides consistency and guidance for the other reindeer and he sets the tone for how the performance of the night will go. Without Comet, the reindeer really struggle to make it through Christmas Eve on schedule.

Cupid: Jamal Murray

The archer of the group, Cupid is known for sharing the love. Cupid’s skill set is at it’s best when he’s helping his herd perform better on cold nights. When the other reindeer need a rest, Cupid shoulders the burden of the work and carries the group through. This year, Cupid has sharpened his skills with the bow and arrow, and he’s excellent at finding the mistletoe. Cupid is also rumored to make an appearance on Valentine’s day so the reindeer may have a longer season that expected this year.

Donner: Trey Lyles

The name Donner comes from the German word meaning “thunder”. Because, even though he is new to Santa’s reindeer lineup, he is noticed every time he walks in the room. Donner works well with Blitzen (another reindeer who we will talk about in just a moment). Blitzen’s speed combined with Donner’s confidence makes for efficient maneuvering through the winter sky. Donner is very creative, and he has no problem taking charge in any situation. Donner is a young reindeer, but in a few year’s time he’s sure to be a staple of Santa’s lineup.

Blitzen: Will Barton

Blitzen is by far the fastest of Santa’s reindeer. He’s so quick that it’s impossible for the others to catch him during reindeer games. When Santa has a big pile of presents, Blitzen helps deliver the goodies, and Santa loves how well things go when Blitzen helps out. Blitzen is known for loving spontaneity, and he can be counted on to finish his projects (most of the time). Whenever Santa demands that the reindeer move faster, Blitzen leads the way charging everyone to move full speed ahead.

Olive: Emmanuel Mudiay

Who is Olive, you say? Well, you remember the song, “Olive, the other reindeer.” Olive has had a precarious start as part of Santa’s reindeer. He hasn’t pulled his weight as much as Santa expected him to, but alas, he still contributes to carrying a little bit of the load. Olive’s main problem is that sometimes he shows up, and sometimes he doesn’t so that puts the other reindeer in a bind when things get tricky on the road. However, the ability to disappear has made Olive a favorite for the reindeer who like to play hide and go seek.

Last, but not least...

Rudolph: Nikola Jokic

The elves and other reindeer were pretty unsure about Rudolph when he came on board. No one really knew who he was, and he was pretty awkward looking with that red nose. However, one foggy December 15th Santa’s lead elf adviser, Chris Finch, said, “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, you should guide our sleigh tonight.” Well, then the reindeer loved him, and they shouted with glee. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is sure to go down in reindeer history.


Who is your favorite reindeer?

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