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Rockets cheerleader on decades of Denver basketball fandom

"It's fabulous," Tammy Bain said. "Look how it's evolved. It's so much more professional now, and so much more exciting."

DENVER — Nuggets fans have waited a long time to see their team in the NBA Finals, and it's felt even longer for people like Tammy Bain, who originally knew Denver's basketball team as the Rockets. 

"Rockets" was the Denver team's name when they were in the American Basketball Association – before they joined the NBA and became the Nuggets. Back in 1973, Bain was a cheerleader for that team. 

Bain remembers the Rockets playing in the Denver Auditorium Arena, which held a few thousand people. The mascot "was a little rocket guy," and the colors were purple and yellow. 

"It's just amazing, really, to look back at that," she said. 

Bain was 24 when she got a front row seat to Denver basketball. 

"I did that in the evenings and that kind of thing," she said. "And I was a dental hygienist during the day." 

With memorabilia spread out on her kitchen table, she notes how much has changed. 

"It's fabulous," she said. "Look how it's evolved. It's so much more professional now, and so much more exciting. The Ball Arena and everything." 

A lot has changed in 50 years. 

"We made $50 a game, and I thought that was a pretty big deal then," she said. 

Then, she couldn't have imagined where her team would be now. But she didn't think it would take so many years to get the chance to cheer them on in an NBA Finals. 

"It's been a long time coming," she said. "Better late than never, though, for sure."


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