Byron Beck's name can be found next to the word "first" in several places in the Nuggets history books. He was the first player signed by the original Denver Rockets American Basketball Association franchise in 1967 and fittingly, his number was the first to be retired by the Denver Nuggets.
Beck, who played for the Rockets/Nuggets from 1967 to 1977 was one of the best pure shooters in ABA history, and his sweeping hook shot was a team trademark for its first 10 years.
The two-time ABA All-Star (1969 and 1976) never averaged more than 14.5 PPG in a season; nonetheless, he stands in fifth place on the Nuggets all-time scoring list (8,603) - a true reflection of his consistency. In addition, he ranks second in rebounds (5,621) and third in games played (747).
Beck always stepped up his play at crunch time. In the 1973 ABA Playoffs, Beck averaged nearly 20 points per game. In 1976, he helped lead the Nuggets to the ABA Finals. Beck appeared in 66 playoff games with Denver, posting a 12.8 scoring average - more than a point per game higher than his career regular season average.
The former University of Denver star was a fan-favorite and his work in the community earned him considerable respect off the court. Beck was the leading Nugget in personal appearances and he was the Denver sports co-chairman for Labor Day's Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.