What Does 5280 Mean for the Denver Nuggets?

"Everybody looks at that skyline and knows that's Mile High Basketball, Denver, which is at 5280."

Melissa Willets - Author
By

Apr. 25 2024, Published 11:19 a.m. ET

The 5280 logo on the court before the game between the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers at Ball Arena on January 27, 2024 in Denver, Colorado
Source: Getty Images

It's a seemingly-random number emblazoned across the chests of Denver Nuggets players. But 5280 has a lot of significance for the Colorado basketball team.

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What does 5280 mean for the Denver Nuggets? Here's what to know about the origin of the number, and why it's such a big part of the team's winning ethos, and strategy.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 and Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets confer while playing the Los Angeles Lakers in the second quarter during game two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 22, 2024 in Denver,
Source: Getty Images
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So, what does 5280 mean for the Denver Nuggets?

You may have heard that Denver, Colorado is nicknamed The Mile High City.

That's because it is situated 5,280 feet above sea level.

In fact, per the NBA, the Nuggets' arena boasts the highest elevation of the league.

As Nuggets Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Declan J. Bolger explains, "5280 is a badge of honor." He also declared, "5280 is a competitive advantage for us."

As such, the team's City Edition uniform features the number, instead of the skyline of the city.

"The skyline and number are interchangeable. Everybody looks at that skyline and knows that's Mile High Basketball, Denver, which is at 5280," Declan said.

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Meanwhile, the number is also used to psych out opponents, like the Miami Heat.

As Randy Wilber, a senior sports physiologist for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, told local station KDVR, “So there’s just as much as oxygen in Denver as there is in Miami. What’s different is the barometric pressure in Denver is significantly lower than in Miami. … So ultimately, yes, you’re getting less oxygen to your working muscles."

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Fans also embrace 5280. About the Nuggets beating the Los Angeles Lakers on April 22, 2024, one exuberant fan tweeted, "I hope everyone knows one of the most iconic moments in Nuggets history happened in the 5280 jerseys so those are officially immortalized."

But, not everyone is on board. One person who isn't feeling the love for the new design tweeted, "Difficult to overstate how bad the Nuggets 5280 jerseys are."

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