Fifty. Fifty numbers worn over the years by 350+ players. This year, Emmanuel Mudiay becomes the sixth player ever to wear 0 for your Denver Nuggets, and will hopefully eventually be the best to wear the jersey. Who wore it before him, and who was the best to wear it thus far? A look at every number every player wore, with a little help from a badass Basketball Reference page I stumbled across in research. Starting with the double-aught (total number to ever wear the jersey in parentheses)

#00(two players): Darrell Arthur edges Anthony Cook for the double aught. Not the toughest battle we’ll face today, with only two guys in the mix.

#0 (five players): Not much of a contest on this one either, as Orlando Woolridge put up his highest career point-per-game average (1,330 points in 53 games, a 25+ point average) and free throw percentage (.797) in his 53 games as a Denver Nugget. He also was the first to wear the jersey, and it always looked like an O for Orlando. O was the first Nugget I ever stood next to on the court, and he was a BIG man. Aaron Brooks had a nice turn in his brief stay with the Nuggets at 0 as well, but nothing close to Woolridge. And somehow, I don't doubt that this data also leaves this spot wide open for Mudiay if he keeps the number. I hope he can achieve what he seems to have set his sights on.

#1 (fourteen players): Though Chauncey Billups and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf both took turns in the 1 jersey, nobody wore that number better than the man who took the rest of George Karl’s hair, J.R. Smith. When Denver went to the Western Conference Finals in the ’08-’09 season, J.R. put up 1233 points, and scored over 4,000 total in the number 1. The most physically gifted human being I’ve ever seen in a Nuggets uniform, save maybe number 33.

#2 (one player): And only one player. The jersey now hangs in the Pepsi Center rafters, as one of the Nuggets finest players ever, Alex English, made sure no one would ever wear it as well again.

#3 (ten players): This one was a toughie, as Rauf, Dale Ellis, and team spark plug Ty Lawson have all donned the trey for Denver in their careers. Good players, all. But in the ’07-’08 season, Allen Iverson put up 2164 points and 586 assists. Believe it or not, that was A.I.’s fifth-highest career season point total. Winner, Iverson.

#4 (nine players): Randy Foye currently wears the “4” jersey, and Chauncey Billups wore it in his first difficult trip through Denver… but another guy had it, even though he only wore number 4 for his last few years, Kenyon Martin was the man who totally wore the four.

#5 (twenty players): Tougher to sort through 20 guys, and though J.R. and Juwan Howard both donned the five, no one was a grittier, get-it-all-done guy in that jersey than Mike Evans (’83-’88).

#6 (seven players): Arron Afflalo had a nice turn in the 6 jersey in his first Denver stint, but in the end, it easily came down to two players: Kenyon Martin, who was a beast pre-injury and wearing 6, and Walter Davis. Though Davis had two 1200+ point seasons in his two full Nuggets campaigns, K-Mart’s overall totals and defensive quarterbacking give him “best of” at two jersey numbers for this Stiff.

#7 (eleven players): Not a particularly tough contest for this title, with Denver's own Chauncey Billups having two of his finest seasons and a trip to the WCF while wearing lucky number 7.

#8 (eight players): Of the eight guys to try the ocho, no one has even come close to the gent who recently decided to keep it for a while. Eight is enough for Danilo Gallinari.

#9 (five players): Though he’s often not remembered so fondly amongst these pages, no one filled in the nine spot better than Andre Iguodala.

#10 (nineteen players): What an interesting list… 10 appears to be the jersey where careers went to die, as Afflalo’s-ghost-who-visited-us-last-season, Nate Robinson, Howard Eisley, Wesley Person, Tim Hardaway, and Ralph Simpson all watched their career numbers shrink to nothingness in the 10 jersey. The winner of this tepid contest is Marvin “The Human Eraser” Webster, and that with 539 points in the ’76-’77 season. The next guy to put 10 on will either live in fear, or have a great chance of owning this title.

#11 (sixteen players): This one was surprising in its ease of choice and lack of choices as well. The most famous name on the list, Larry Brown, wore 11 for Denver in the ABA days, and Chris Andersen had some very Birdman moments in the jersey as well. But the best stats on the list by a mile belong to the shortest gent available, Earl Boykins. Boykins averaged over 12 points a game in his 82-game season in ’04-’05, the only season he cracked the 1,000 point barrier. My six-foot tall wife has a signed Earl Boykins jersey. He did not find that ironic at all. I wish I could find the photo.

#12 (fourteen players): Not much contest on this list either, as the guy who wore it the longest wore it the best as well. In each of his six seasons as a Denver Nugget, Fat Lever cracked a thousand points, never had less than 400 assists, and put up the SIXTH-MOST TRIPLE-DOUBLES IN NBA HISTORY, with 43 in his career, most of them as a Denver Nugget. Retire this jersey, Nuggets-in-charge.

#13 (eight players): This one was interesting, as Corey Brewer had a couple of very solid seasons wearing number 13 for Denver, but… there was a 52-game stint where another Stiffs outcast put up 541 points and 641 assists. That’s averaging a double-double for 52 games, heavy on the assists. Yes, let’s please get rid of that guy quickly. That’s some crazy numbers there, Mark Jackson. Think this one may have to go to Jackson. Ugh.

#14 (seventeen players): Though I'm sure Fatty Taylor will be crushed, no one wore 14 like Michael Adams did from 1987-1991. Adams broke 1,100 points all four seasons, finishing his Nuggets career with a 1,752-point, 693 assist campaign. Damn, Michael. As a side note, I'm now crushed that Fat Lever and Fatty Taylor did not play together… "Fat passes to Fatty, Fatty to Fat. Fat Fatty Fat Fat Fat. We'll be back after this timeout."

#15 (ten players): There are five numbers on this list that are no-brainers. Four of them hang in the rafters, one is Fat Lever, and then there’s this gentleman. Though he caused us some drama, and left us in the lurch, Carmelo Anthony’s seven-and-a-half seasons wearing number 15 were some of the finest Nuggets Nation have ever seen. Thanks for those amazingly consistent years, Melo.

#17 (three players): Words I never thought I'd say, but make me happy, anyway. Joe Wolf, you were the best player ever to wear 17 for the Nuggets.

#19 (one player): Lonnie Lynn put up 48 points in 12 games for the ABA Denver Rockets. Not sure this one even counts, as he wasn’t a Nugget. And averaged four points a game. Moving on.

#20 (twelve players): LaPhonso Ellis runs away from 11 others easily… funny how the guys who were the best were also often the guys who wore it the longest. Seems a "duh" statement, but that had never occurred to me.

#21 (fourteen players): That “longest-to-wear-it” will be appropriate if 21 sticks to Wilson Chandler this next season, making him the owner of both titles by next season’s end. Though Fatty Taylor apparently took a turn at 21 as well. Sorry, Fatty.

#22 (seventeen players): And then we nearly break the "longest-to-wear-it" paradigm permanently as Nikoloz Tskitishvili wore 22 for two-and-a-half seasons. Thank god Glen Gondrezick made it all the way through four.

#23 (nine players): This one was tougher, but a lot of fun. Defensive stalwart T.R. Dunn? Do-it-all grinder Bryant Stith? Or Shut-down-the-post Marcus Camby? Though Dunn was a rock against whoever he played, and Stith had two 1,000 point plus seasons for Denver (and nearly a third), Camby’s balance of the two and a Defensive Player of the Year title in a Nuggets jersey narrowly swings the vote his way. Here’s hoping Jusuf Nurkic makes this conversation a non-issue in the next decade.

#24 (eleven players): Though Bill Hanzlik wore it well, and Bobby Jones had a couple of killer years wearing 24, the discussion really boils down to Antonio McDyess and Andre Miller. And though ‘Dre is a legend and one of the most consistent and tricky guys to ever step onto the floor, McDyess was an unstoppable force when at his Nuggets apex. Decision, Dice.

#25 (nine players): We'll talk about him more in a second, but according to Basketball Reference, Dan Issel put up 1,765 points and 696 rebounds in the Nuggets' inaugural NBA season wearing number 25. Sorry, Timofey Mozgov. I was sure you were about to take that one.

#27 (three players): Elmore Spencer… Mengke Bateer… Johan Petro… Huh. Uh… Well, Spencer had zero points in six games for Denver, Bateer put up 139 points in 27 games, and Petro had 122 points in 36 games in his only full Nuggets season. Good god, Mengke Bateer won something.

#28 (two players): Jameer Nelson easily outdistances Robert Werdann. Holy crap, this article may have been a terrible idea.

#29 (two players): Calbert Cheaney over Mike Wilks. Holy crap, this article WAS a terrible idea…

#30 (twenty-three players): Thank god, a ton of players to choose from… though when you get to names like Marcus Liberty, Dahntay Jones, and Reggie Evans topping your list, you start to sweat. Thank god for George McGinnis’ ’78-’79 Nuggets season, where he put up 1,715 points. Bless you George, this was getting ugly.

#31 (six players): This one boiled down to two guys pretty quickly. Nick Van Exel or Nene? Though Nick the Quick had a few star-level seasons in Denver, Nene went from rookie curiosity to a long-term force for the Nuggets before his trade to Washington. This one swings your way-way, Nene.

#32 (eleven players): Though I’m a huge Ryan Bowen fan, this one wasn’t all that close, as the only Nugget that had decent point totals in jersey 32 was Bob Wilkerson, who in 1977-1980 put up 921, 911, and 1033 points. I’m even sadder that I am completely unfamiliar with Bob Wilkerson’s work. Off to Google I go. Apparently Bob could dunk a little bit

#33 (five players): There are four players' jerseys hanging in the rafters of the Pepsi Center, and none a more dominant force than David Thompson. The Skywalker was the guy a young Michael Jordan looked up to, and Thompson even inducted Jordan into the Hall of Fame. No one else came close at 33, not even the wonderful Calvin Natt.

#34 (ten players): Though JaVale McGee had a couple of amazing moments in the 34 jersey, a couple of other gents had better seasons. And though Original Stiff Danny Schayes had an 1,129 point, 662 rebound season in 1987-1988, someone did him better. Reggie Williams cracked the 1,000 point mark three times in a row before narrowly missing a fourth in 1994-1995, and takes the title for jersey 34.

#35 (eleven players): Kenneth Faried, and it's not very close. I like the idea that we'll have three guys on this list who are current Nuggets.

#36 (one player): Shawnelle Scott, 82 points in 21 games in 2002. Moving on.

#40 (one player): Though Byron Beck's Denver Nuggets career only lasted one NBA season, and that all of 250 points for your Denver Nuggets, Beck was a stalwart and early star of the Denver Rockets, and he shares the distinction with Alex English of being one of two guys whose number was retired after being the only guy to wear it. His early success in Denver history was a big part of the reason there is a "Denver Nuggets".

#41 (seven players): Second Stiff Blair Rasmussen easily edges out James Posey and Kosta Koufos for this slot. Rasmussen cracked the 1,00 point barrier twice as a Nugget. But barely. Once 1,001. Once 1,002.

#42 (nine players): Though Lonnie Wright was a monster for a while for the Rockets, if we keep it to Nuggets, oft-forgotten Wayne Cooper had some very solid seasons for Denver from 1985-1989.

#43 (five players): Good god, it’s obviously Linas Kleiza. Whose stupid idea was this column, anyway? Oh, wait…

#44 (five players): Dan Issel. By a Kentucky mile. The Horse will always be the man at number 44, and his jersey is the last of four hanging in the Nuggets rafters. At least until Carmelo Anthony has been retired long enough, or the Front Office wakes up about Fat Lever. Mr. Issel also shares a distinction with K-Mart – being the only gents who were on this list twice, and Issel more the no-brainer. I'll admit that I hope Dan is back in the Nuggets fold someday. He seemed plenty penitent long ago for his dumb mistake, and has created amazing moments in Nuggets history from both sides of the bench.

#45 (six players): I've somehow surrounded Hall of Famer Dan Issel with Linas Kleiza and Raef LaFrentz. I'm at a loss. There's really only one fun one left at 55, anyway, so let's make this quicker…

#50 (nine players): Nine players, none here more than a season, and I only recognize Ervin Johnson. Dwight Waller's one of the few guys I've seen who went from the NBA to the ABA. That seems a risky bet. You pick one.

#51 (one player): Michael Doleac. Sigh.

#52 (four players): See #50.

#53 (two players): See #52.

#54 (four players): Rodney Rogers by orders of magnitude.

#55 (four players): Oof… one more toughie, in my opinion the hardest of any on the board. Kiki Vandeweghe or Dikembe Mutombo. Two pillars of the Denver Nuggets franchise. And though Kiki brought even more to the franchise as a part of the front office, Deke wins this one handily for me with a DPOY and finger wag. But that is strictly my heart talking, because a DPOY versus a GUY WHO BROKE 2,000 POINTS IN A SEASON. Twice. In a row. In a Nuggets jersey.

#56 (one player): Francisco Elson. Yup.

#77 (one player): Joffrey Lauvergne. I actually think Lauvergne is going to have a number of "who is THAT guy?" moments in the first half of this season before people realize he's here to stay. But maybe not ready to join a Skywalker/Issel/Billups/Anthony/Lever/English list just YET. Let's not get hasty. And FINALLY, we're bringing it home…

#94 (one player): Evan Fournier. There's a joke in here about the French guys having the highest numbers but I'm too tired to make it after biting off more than I could chew with this article. Good morning, Denver, Colorado (or wherever you are).

Any disagreements here, Nuggets Nation? That Denver Nuggets by the numbers list on Basketball Reference was pretty cool, no?

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