Denver Nuggets A to Z: Danny Fortson

Power forward was productive in two years in Mile High City
by Aaron Lopez

Before the Nuggets drafted Kenneth Faried in 2011, only nine players with a last name starting with F had suited up for Denver in the team’s 45-year history in the ABA and NBA.


That’s not many to choose from as we continue our month-long A to Z tribute to notable players in Nuggets history.

Faried and Randy Foye remain key parts of Denver’s current playing rotation, while Evan Fournier showed potential in two seasons before being traded to the Orlando Magic on June 26.

As far as past players, Danny Fortson was the most prominent among the Fs. He played 130 games for the Nuggets after his rights were acquired by the Nuggets in a trade that sent Ervin Johnson to the Milwaukee Bucks on June 25, 1997.

Fortson, 6-foot-7, 260-pound power forward arrived in Denver following a stellar career at the University of Cincinnati. He averaged 18.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in three seasons with the Bearcats and was the 10th overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.

Though undersized for his position, Fortson was adept at using his wide frame to grab rebounds and shoot over taller defenders on the interior. After a solid rookie season, he averaged 11.0 points and finished fourth in the NBA at 11.6 rebounds per game in 1998-99. In all, he recorded 31 double-doubles with Denver.

The Nuggets were in a rebuilding mode during Fortson’s two years with the team, and he was traded to the Boston Celtics as part of a six-player deal on Aug. 3, 1999. Fortson went on to play eight more seasons in the NBA with Boston, Golden State, Dallas and Seattle.

Game to remember, April. 18, 1999

The Nuggets took a 1-20 road record into Los Angeles, but emerged with a 103-101 victory over the Clippers behind big performances by Fortson and Nick Van Exel. Fortson had 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Van Exel scored 34 points and hit the go-ahead jumper with 5.5 seconds remaining. Fortson went 5-for-9 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.