The franchise was known as the Denver Rockets when it entered the ABA in 1967. The same year, an NBA expansion franchise named the San Diego (now Houston) Rockets began play. After seven seasons, and with entry into the NBA looming, Denver team officials renamed the club. "Nuggets" refer to the 19th century mining boom in Colorado, when people rushed to the area, hoping to make their fortunes by panning gold and silver nuggets. It also draws a connection to the defunct Denver Nuggets that played one season (1949-50) in the NBA.
Along with the name change was a new logo and Maxie Miner was born.