At some point Denver Nuggets legend and Basketball Hall of Fame member Alex English went from criminally underrated to criminally forgotten. It’s a shame. The leading scorer of the 1980’s who had, along with Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Sky hook one of the signature “unblockable” shots in NBA history. Yet, after LeBron James passed Alex English for 16th in all time scoring in the NBA there wasn’t much said about one of the greatest, if not the greatest Nuggets player (along with David Thompson).

What English accomplished in 10 and a half years in Denver was remarkable because it was so prolific and yet so understated. English scored over 2000 points in 8 straight seasons and as mentioned above was the leading scorer of the 80’s. Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, not Magic Johnson, not Michael Jordan. Alex English. So smooth you could dedicate an entire smooth jazz radio station to his shot. So unassuming and quiet you’d think think he was a producer of a George Plimpton series on PBS. Yet he was perfect for Denver, and perfect for that 1980’s Nuggets team.

Dig these highlights

Smooth like a velour shirt on a cold winter morning.

Love how English worked so well within the Nuggets passing game offense. He excelled at the mid range shot that was absolutely devastating. (remember the mid-range game?)

In what was likely one of English’s most amazing performances, without an injured Fat Lever, English scored 51 points and racked up 9 assists against the Miami Heat in 1989 toward the end of English’s run with the Nuggets. Reaching back into the time machine and nearly single handedly leading the Nuggets to victory in his second to last season with the team. This truly was amazing and English was almost unstoppable and at the age of 35!! This was the last of the Nuggets legend’s amazing scoring performances. A year later his scoring average would dip to 17.9 a game and lose a good portion of his playing time to Walter Davis. Also watch future Nuggets player Scott Hastings shove English toward the end of the game, and English still made the shot!)

Happy birthday to the Denver Nuggets legend. One wishes that the NBA would do a better job in celebrating his legacy. There has never been anyone like him, and doubtful there ever will be.