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.
Craig Carton makes the case that Jokic should've been selected at an NBA Top 75 player over AD + calls out the city of Denver.
— n i k o l a e s t h e t i c (@nikolaesthetic) May 22, 2023
As you can imagine, the explosive take was not particularly taken well by Nuggets fans.
Nobody cares about basketball? Dude shut up you’re only saying this because the national media doesn’t give the nuggets the credit they deserve https://t.co/nbzYGPWfQ1
— Memoria✨ (@MsMemorie18) May 22, 2023
Lifelong fan of Basketball. I'm from Denver. People are so excited about this team and have been for YEARS Craig. https://t.co/08eVQd0fos
— Michelle Jackson (@MichLovesMoney) May 22, 2023
Spoken like a guy who hasn’t lived in colorado for 30 years https://t.co/KoY1eWNYdc
— Spencer Bradbury (@SpencerTodd19) May 22, 2023
It’s not that we don’t care about basketball…. Sports media just doesn’t like Denver??♂️ https://t.co/29T1ZZY75X
— June (@juniorg45) May 22, 2023
A man convicted of fraud and worked in Denver during the 90’s when the Nuggets were atrocious and Basketball attendance/ratings/revenue were BELOW hockey.
— Daniel Wettstein (@DanWettsteinII) May 22, 2023
I don't understand why people feel the need to speak on things they have literally zero understanding of. Everyone should know by now how little national media knows about Denver https://t.co/HSvye5GtdB
— LeBrick James (@nfljunky1013) May 22, 2023
Denver where nobody cares about basketball…? Yet another person on NATIONAL MEDIA that has no clue about Denver basketball or it’s fan base. I could take 80% of these peoples jobs. Like just stay up and watch the west coast games it’s not hard especially when it’s your JOB. https://t.co/kloKhIBPQa
— ♦️ TommyLocks ♦️ (@ThomasScottSch1) May 22, 2023
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.