DENVER — Some stores stayed open late Monday and reopened early Tuesday morning to accommodate Nuggets fans looking for special gear after the team's historic sweep.
"We were so confident, and that team is built to win," Derek Friedman, the owner of Sportsfan merchandise shop, said. "We had to place orders for this product weeks and weeks ago, even before the playoffs even started, and so we knew."
Within minutes of the Nuggets winning, merchandise was already for sale at stores that took a risk and pre-ordered it. For the big box stores, the bet is worth it. But for a family-owned business like Friedman's, it is a gamble.
When everyone doubted Denver, Friedman took the odds. He placed his order for Finals merchandise before the games began -- a chance he didn't even take for the Colorado Avalanche last year.
"We had so much confidence we actually ordered it to arrive before they even won," he said. "You know, this is the first time the Nuggets have ever swept, and so obviously you got to get the brooms out, especially since it's the Lakers, and so goodbye to Lebron and say hello to the Finals," he said as he held a broom.
Friedman said because the Nuggets won the Western Conference Finals, his employees will be getting a bonus. He's also already preordered Finals Championship gear.
He said that decision is part of the industry.
"That's kind of how this business works. One of the things that has been true about this team is that there’s a lot of folks that haven’t believed in them, and the whole narrative from all of the national pundits, it was, you know, it’s all about the Lakers, nothing about the Nuggets," Friedman said. "To quote a very wise man with the last name Malone, they can put that in their pipe and smoke it."
The Nuggets will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 1.
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