Patriarch of Denver basketball honored by Nuggets

Franchise shows appreciation for former executive Carl Scheer
by Aaron Lopez

No matter how long Carl Scheer has been away from Denver, the Nuggets are rarely far from his heart or his mind.

"I follow them as much as I can,” the former Nuggets executive said Saturday night. "They are my family team."

Scheer is unquestionably the patriarch of Denver basketball, and the Nuggets showed their appreciation for his historic impact on the franchise by honoring him during a pregame ceremony at Pepsi Center.

After taking over as president and general manager of the Denver Rockets in 1974, Scheer helped the team rise to prominence in the American Basketball Association and was instrumental in executing the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.

“I’ve just always been tenacious about what I do,” Scheer said. “I always felt that Denver was a great city and it was important that they have another major league team to show they are indeed a first-class sports town.”

In addition to having an eye for talent, Scheer was a pioneer when it came to entertaining fans. He created the first slam-dunk competition as part of an All-Star extravaganza in the final year of the ABA. The legacy lives on with the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend.

“The All-Star game in 1976 proved to a lot of people that we had special talents in the ABA,” Scheer said. “We had to do something dramatic and that’s how the slam-dunk contest was born. It was to show the NBA and the basketball world that we had great players.”

Scheer left the Nuggets in 1984, but he remains a part of the NBA as a senior advisor with the Charlotte Bobcats.

His affiliation was secondary Saturday night when the appreciative Denver crowd gave him a hearty ovation.

Once again, he was part of the family.