Thomas Bryant gets a championship ring

The Nuggets rolled out the red carpet for Thomas Bryant, who was with the team last June when they captured the franchise's 1st title.

DENVER (AP) — Suspended Miami Heat center Thomas Bryant He received a group hug from his former Denver teammates and a shiny championship ring before promptly leaving the arena.

After all, rules are rules.

The Heat's only visit to Denver this season allowed the NBA to have Bryant on hand before the game. Usually suspended players Not allowed in the arena on game nights.

The Nuggets rolled out the red carpet for Bryant, who was with the team last June when they defeated the Heat to capture the franchise's first NBA title.

Bryant watched the video on the big screen next to Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon, then received a warm hug from guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who also gave Bryant his shiny ring. Bryant was overwhelmed in the half-court by Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.

Bryant was drenched the moment he slipped the ring off his hand. He tapped his heart and applauded as the crowd cheered.

„It's a way to thank him for all his contributions,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of the pregame ceremony. „Good to see Thomas – haven't seen him obviously since we won last June.”

After the ring ceremony, Bryant left the building. He completed a three-game suspension last week for a hit-and-run against New Orleans.

Bryant played very little for Denver after being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2023 as part of a four-team trade. He played in just one game during Denver's postseason run.

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The Nuggets were handed their championship rings on October 24 before playing their first game of the season against LeBron James and the Lakers. The team also honored other players from last year's championship roster who returned to the Mile High City with their new team. This is a list that includes Bruce Brown, Ish Smith and Jeff Green.

Bryant signed with the Heat as a free agent over the summer. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 25 games for Miami.

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