Lafayette “Fat” Lever thought he had been invited back to Denver to attend the Nuggets’ preseason finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder and interact with the team.
Then when team president Josh Kroenke brought Lever onto the floor after shootaround, he thought he was being “punked.”
Kroenke unveiled a Lever No. 12 jersey and asked how Lever would feel about that hanging from the Pepsi Center rafters.
The Nuggets will officially retire Lever’s jersey this season, an honor that left the former All-Star and triple-double specialist stunned and appreciative.
“It came out of the blue,” Lever said shortly after the announcement. “The ones who need to keep a secret, they got involved, because I had no idea. As I stand here, I’m still in shock.”
The ceremony will take place during the Nuggets’ Dec. 2 contest against the Lakers and is part of the organization’s season-long 50th anniversary celebration. Lever will become the sixth Nugget to have his jersey retired, joining Byron Beck’s No. 40, Alex English’s No. 2, Dan Issel’s No. 44, Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 and David Thompson’s No. 33. Legendary coach Doug Moe and his 432 career victories are also hanging from the rafters.
“With what Fat Lever has meant to this team, this city and our community for the past 30-plus years, it makes perfect sense to honor him by retiring his jersey during this special season,” Kroenke said in a release. “He is not only one of the best Nuggets in franchise history, but a great ambassador of Denver basketball as well. It is going to be an honor to have his jersey hanging in our arena.”
Lever averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game during his Nuggets career from 1984-90. A two-time All-Star, Lever ranks first all-time in franchise history in steals (1,167), second …read more
Source:: The Denver Post