The name Dan Issel became synonymous with the Denver Nuggets during his playing days from 1975-85 and it still is today. Nicknamed "The Horse", Issel is one of the most popular sports figures in Colorado history.
Issel never failed to respond when duty called and was one of the most durable players in pro basketball history. In his 15-year career, Issel played in 1,218 of 1,242 possible games.
When he retired in 1985, he left as the Nuggets all-time leading scorer and rebounder after notching 16,589 points and 6,630 boards. He still ranks among the top five in nearly every statistical category on the Nuggets all-time list.
One of the most prolific scorers in basketball history, Issel ranks seventh on the combined ABA/NBA all-time scoring list with 27,482 points. He trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone.
There was more to Issel than his on court prowess, however. He was also a leader in the community. In 1985, the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America recognized that and presented Issel with the J. Walter Kennedy Award for community service.
In 1992, Issel returned to the Nuggets, this time as their head coach. He orchestrated a tremendous turnaround, taking a club hat had just won 44 games in two years prior to his arrival and leading them to the NBA playoffs in just two seasons. In the 1994 Playoffs, the Nuggets defeated Seattle, the #1 seed in the Western Conference - the first time a #1 seed was defeated in the first round.
"The Horse" , a 1976 ABA All-Star and '77 NBA All-Star, became the first Nugget to be elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.