The end of the Denver Nuggets’ victory parade descended into chaos Thursday as two people were injured in a shootout and a cop was run over by a fire truck carrying superstars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
Police say the shooting occurred near the intersection of 17th and Curtis streets, near where thousands of fans gathered to celebrate the team’s first-ever NBA championship.
Two people were reportedly injured in the shooting, but their conditions are currently unknown and it remains unclear what may have caused the shooting.
Just an hour earlier, police reported an officer was struck by a fire truck near the end of the parade route and taken to a local hospital. Nuggets superstars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, as well as trophy winner Larry O’Brien, were all in the fire truck when the incident happened.
The officer is now in stable condition, Denver police said online, but suffered a “severe leg injury.” The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Thursday’s mayhem comes just days after another shootout left nine injured as they celebrated the Nuggets’ victory over the Miami Heat.
Nikola Jokic (right) and Jamal Murray are seen atop a vehicle during the Nuggets Championship celebrations
Fans had turned out in droves on Thursday to celebrate the Nuggets’ victory with the team.
Nikola Jokic amused fans and journalists after his team’s victory in game five when he said he “needed[s] come home” to see his horses.
But the two-time MVP was on parade with his family alongside the other Denver players and coaches who enabled the historic title victory.
Jokic is coming off a historic playoff performance, where he became the first player to lead the league in total points (600), rebounds (269) and assists (190) in a single postseason.
The two-time NBA MVP also added more material to his resume, capturing the Finals MVP.
Fans went wild when Jokic passed them in Denver as champagne sprayed in the air during the title celebration
Fans watch the Nuggets victory parade and rally after winning the 2023 NBA Championship at Civic Center Park
Thousands of fans filled the area after the Nuggets won their first NBA championship, beating the Heat in five games
A fan holds a cutout of Nikola Jokic, who played in the playoffs and led the playoffs in points, rebounds and assists
Jokic, opposed to the limelight, said he lost his Finals MVP trophy after the team’s 94-89 win over the Heat on Monday.
But the center apparently found it as it was displayed on top of the vehicle that it was on Thursday.
With the season now officially over, Jokic will soon return home to Sombor, Serbia to spend time with his family and get back to his other passion: horse racing.
He hopes to make it back in time to watch a harness race on Sunday.
Jokic kindly held and kissed his young daughter during the parade, while others of the Nuggets were more in party mode.
Guard Kentavious-Caldwell Pope had a beer-chugging contest with a fanand also did Stone Cold Steve Austin’s patented beer smash, smashing two cans of beer into his face before throwing them into the street.
Even coach Michael Malone got in on the action as he sprayed champagne on Nuggets fans.
Malone also had a brash prediction for his Denver squad.
Nikola Jokic holds his young daughter during Thursday’s Nuggets title celebrations in Denver as fans look on
Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. rides atop a vehicle during the Nuggets’ victory parade on Thursday
Christian Braun attends the Denver Nuggets Championship Parade with a WWE belt slung over his shoulder on Thursday
Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky is seen on a truck during the Denver Nuggets victory parade and rally on Thursday
A young fan celebrates at a rally and parade to mark the Denver Nuggets’ first NBA basketball championship
A fan holds up a fake Larry O’Brien trophy, which is given to NBA champions, during Thursday’s parade
“We’re not done yet,” he said from atop a vehicle. ‘We are greedy bitches, baby. We get another one.
The Denver coach also did some soul-searching on the emotional day, choking on a different maintenance.
‘Life is made up of moments. And what we have just accomplished, 47 years of preparation,” he said, thanking the team’s fans for their support and patience.
“I have a crazy idea, let’s start again.”
Vegas apparently agrees with Malone’s confidence, as the Nuggets have been listed as betting favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year after winning Miami.
After the win, Denver was listed as a +475 favorite by Caesars Sportsbook.
Only three other teams have single-digit odds: the Celtics (+575), Bucks (+700) and Suns (+850).
The Lakers (+1100), Warriors (+1100) and Sixers (+1200) are next on the list.
The Nuggets capped off an impressive postseason by beating the Heat in the Finals on Monday in Game 5.
The Nuggets finished 16-4 in the playoffs, which was tied for the second-best mark by an NBA champion since the first round was expanded to best-of-seven in 2003.
San Antonio was also 16-4 in 2007 and Golden State was 16-1 in 2017.