There’s a Cool Story Behind the Denver Nuggets’ Rainbow Jerseys

Abi Travis - Author

Aug. 18 2020, Updated 5:10 p.m. ET

why do the nuggets have rainbow jerseys
Source: Getty Images

We have officially entered the 2020 NBA playoffs (several months later than originally planned), and if you’re a basketball fan, it’s one of the main things keeping you in good spirits these days. With every game taking place in the “bubble,” there are a lot of new views to get used to. The 6-foot-apart interviews, the masks, the virtual fans — it’s a lot of changes all at once!

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People also noted another unique feature about some recent games: The Denver Nuggets have rainbow jerseys! If you’ve been a Nuggets fan for a while, their jerseys might not come as a surprise to you, but as soon as they started playing in the “bubble,” people began searching for the meaning behind the rainbows. Here’s what we know.

nuggets rainbow skyline
Source: Twitter
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Why do the Nuggets have rainbow jerseys?

Currently, one of the jerseys the Nuggets are sporting are black with white mountain peaks and rainbow stripes. It’s a very cool look. Interestingly enough, these jerseys — their City Edition jerseys — aren’t the first Nuggets jerseys to include rainbow stripes. 

The Nuggets’ first rainbow jerseys were worn by the team from the 1981 - 1982 season through the 1992 - 1993 season. The jersey itself was white, featuring the Denver skyline set against the Rocky Mountains and a rainbow-colored background. It was designed by fans in advance of the 1981 season and was known as the “Rainbow Skyline.” 

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At the time, the rainbow design was chosen because it “represented the vibrancy and growth of Denver that occurred in the 1980s. While the Rainbow Skyline jerseys stuck around for several seasons, the Nuggets eventually switched to a new design for the 1993 - 1994 season and beyond. Until 2018, that is.

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That’s when the Nuggets brought the Rainbow Skyline back for their City Edition jerseys. Then, for the 2019 - 2020 season, they made a slight change and switched from white jerseys to black jerseys. According to the Nuggets’ Merch Shop, the design is inspired by the region’s natural hues. The Nuggets have also said that the uniform is “a celebration of the people and neighborhoods that make Mile High Basketball and Denver unique.”

The rainbow jerseys aren’t the only way the Nuggets honor their unique Denver fans and neighborhoods. They have also held a slate of diversity and inclusion nights over the years, including Pride Nights, a Black History celebration, a Hispanic Heritage Night, and a celebration of the Lunar New Year.

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why do the nuggets have rainbow skyline jerseys
Source: Getty Images

“The Denver Nuggets are proud to celebrate and recognize our diverse fanbase,” said Kroenke Sports & Entertainment SVP and CMO Declan J. Bolger. “We support equality and strive to reflect the community and region that we serve.”

Many Nuggets fans see the City Edition jerseys as good omens for the team’s playoff chances. While the team wore the original Rainbow Skyline jerseys in the ‘80s and ‘90s, they made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons. Coincidence? Maybe! But we’re glad to see the rainbow jerseys make another appearance in this year’s playoffs, too. Regardless of how you feel about the Nuggets, you have to admit that their jerseys look sharp!

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