Craig Carton Nikola Jokić Credit: FS1

In case you haven’t heard, the Denver Nuggets are one game away from advancing to the NBA Finals. A Game 4 victory on Monday in Los Angels over the Lakers would clinch the first Western Conference Championship in Nuggets history and would thus be their first-ever berth in the NBA Finals. Two-time league MVP Nikola Jokić has been dominant and has made NBA fans wonder if voters made the right decision not to elect him as three-time MVP (after a long bout of people saying he shouldn’t, of course). It’s too bad that nobody in the Mile High City apparently cares about basketball. That is, at least, according to Craig Carton.

Carton, who had previously returned to his seat at WFAN 660 in New York, went on a tangent on The Carton Show Monday morning on FS1. He went on the defense for Jokić, claiming he should have been named a Top 75 player instead of Lakers center Anthony Davis. But then, Carton went on the attack as he lamented the fact that the two-time NBA MVP played in Denver.

“It’s too bad for him he plays in Denver, where nobody cares about basketball. Because if he played in any other city, this guy would be thought of not just a 75 — a Top 25 player in the history of our great game,” Carton said. The user @nikolaesthetic posted a video of the claim from his show.

As you can imagine, the explosive take was not particularly taken well by Nuggets fans.

The necessary context for Carton is he used to work in the Mile High City. He gained fame working for KKFN 950 AM in the early 1990s until 2000, when he joined WNEW FM in New York City.

Carton may have this take because he used to live in Denver and work in the sports world there. Of course, it’s worth noting that a lot has changed for the Nuggets since that era. For instance, Carmelo Anthony was drafted, and so was Jokić. The team also succeeded in the 21st century, making the Western Conference Finals three times.

In the 2022-23 season, the Nuggets placed eighth in average attendance with 19,235 fans. Noteworthy, perhaps, is that the New York Knicks finished seventh with 19,392, only over 140 fans more. The Nuggets also placed higher than the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Los Angele Clippers, and the Lakers, who all reside in three of the most extensive media markets in the U.S.

So from his experience, Carton might have a reason to think he has his finger on the pulse. But questioning how much Denver cares about anything, let alone basketball right now, might be better served for people who actually reside in Denver.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022