Denver Nuggets: Are They Really Thugs?

Are The Denver Nuggets Really Thugs? Or Are They Just Heavily Tattooed?

5/14/09 in NBA   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

I have no idea where this term came from, but sometime during the Dallas/Denver series, the term "Thuggets" was introduced as a term used to describe the Nuggets. It may have come from Mark Cuban, who called Kenyon Martin a thug at the end of Game 4, but I can't be sure.

It seemed a little weird to me because, let's be honest, these entire playoffs have been quite physical, and I don't necessarily remember saying to myself, you know those Nuggets really go the extra mile in terms of physical play.

But the term is already out there, and some of the Nuggets were asked about it. Here's what Carmelo Anthony said:

"I don't know where that comes from. I mean, we just play basketball. We play hard, we have fun out there on the court. Maybe it's because we've got tattoos. Everybody has tattoos on our team, so maybe that's what it is."

And you know what, he may be dead on. Don't worry, I'm not pulling out the race card, because as I'll make clear later, this really has nothing to do with race.

But back to the Nuggets and their thuggery. Typically a basketball thug is much like a hockey thug. They're an enforcer who plays outside of the rules a bit, takes cheap shots at people, etc. Problem is, when I go by that definition, I really can't think of anyone on the Nuggets who fits that description aside from Kenyon Martin. And even Martin isn't all that bad. He uses intimidation and physical play to give himself an advantage. Only about 8000 other NBA players have ever done that.

And let's be real here. K-Mart is about 1/10th as bad a Bill Laimbeer ever was.

Also, when you look at teams who have, how shall I say this, gotten chippy during these playoffs, the Celtics come instantly to mind. Rajon Rondo's cheap foul on Brad Miller, Rondo hucking Hinrich into the scorer's table, Kevin Garnett barking like a rabid dog on the sideline at opponents, Kendrick Perkins delivering elbows of fury. Yet, can you remember anyone calling the Celtics thugs? I don't. Instead you hear "it's playoff basketball."

So why are the Nuggets getting the short end of the stick? Beats the hell out of me. Maybe it had to do with the tiff between K-Mart and Cuban, but K-Mart does not a whole team make. These Nuggets are no where close to the old Detroit Bad Boys.

I really do think there's some truth to what 'Melo said, even if he meant it jokingly. Some people just see a guy like JR Smith or Chris Andersen covered in tats and think, man, that dude's a thug. But, as they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. And if you ask me, the reason why the Nuggets are going to beat whoever faces them in the Western Conference Finals isn't because of anything to do with thuggery at all, it's because these guys play and win as a true team - regardless of what's tattooed on their necks.

What makes an NBA team thuggish? [The Baseline]
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11/7/09   |   rlcohen2

H_Town wrote:
Who cares thug or not as long as you win, I have 12 tats and I work for a oil co. So who cares just keep playing hard and all the tats stuff will go out the window.

 Ok first of all, the term Thuggets has been around for a long time.  I dont know where your from or who you hang with but in Denver we have coined the term Thuggets for a few years now and the only reason people are even talking about it now is because of all the media coverage from the playoffs last year.  

5/14/09   |   sinamins

Cuban has used the term thug however what does it make him when the SEC filed charges against him for insider trading... yep sounds like a white collar thug to me. These guys should not be labeled by their tats but on thier skills.

5/14/09   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

Cuban calling Denver thugs is kind of hypocritical coming from him. Seeing how he has railed against sterotypes on the players of the NBA, and he starts this crap. But go ahead and call them thugs all I do know is that they are in the WCF and Cubans weak team is at home

5/14/09   |   ric_carver

tattoos dont make a person a thug...I have tattoos and never want to ever be claimed as being a thug..and anyone usually who calls themself a thug, 99.9% of the time they are not. Just like the gangs of today...not tough at all to me because when i was a teen ya fought 1 on 1 not like today 1 on 5...thats not tough and thats not thug...thug in the early days was another name for a mugger,robber,gangster  (not Gangsta) and as far as I see...tats dont make the person..its the person who makes the person

5/14/09   |   dahizzle   |   6 respect

If anybody has been close to being the thugs it has been the Celtics Rondo.  Throwing Kirk Hinrich into the scorers table and decking Brad Miller in the face.  But the Celtics face no scrutiny and it gets overlooked because they were last years champ and Stern would love to see them win another title.

5/14/09   |   H_Town

(Edited by H_Town)

Who cares thug or not as long as you win, I have 12 tats and I work for a oil co. So who cares just keep playing hard and all the tats stuff will go out the window.

5/14/09   |   muska-125

lol thugs sorry not htugs

5/14/09   |   muska-125

We were htugs then we got billups, now were gods

5/14/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

 Tats can give the wrong impression - it is like the old saying..."don't judge a book by its cover"

5/14/09   |   Superbleeder   |   94 respect

(Edited by Superbleeder)

Dang that tattoo is hot. 

5/14/09   |   sports_schmorts   |   3301 respect


They all have nice tats :D