Officially Mile High
The King of Denver introduces all-new NBA Shop to Colorado.
by Sly Sulaiman
When some NBA and sports fans arrived at their local Champs Sports store in Colorado inside the posh Flatiron Crossing Mall in Broomfield, outside of Denver, they did not expect to see Denver Nuggets and All-Star guard Chauncey Billups working the register.
If they already knew, they did not know what to expect as their home town King helped introduce the all-new Official NBA Shop locally to the Nuggets fans at Champs.
“I am a home town kid and anything to do with adidas and the NBA, I think I should be the one to introduce it to the city,” Billups said.
With the NBA and Champs teaming up together, they have created a smaller version of the infamous NBA store on 5th Avenue in New York City in Colorado.
“It’s huge to have Champs and NBA partner on this,” says Billups. “There are so many sports stores you can go, but there is only one place now where you can go to get the official NBA gear from its store.”
Though it might be a small section of the store, it is a smart move that’s part of the League’s initiative to bring authentic official apparel to fans locally around the nation.
“I buy a lot of jerseys so rather than going online, I can actually come in the shop and try the authentic gear on. That makes it a lot easier, says David Bonilla a Nuggets fan. “That’s big man, now I can just come down here and scoop something up before I go to a game.”
Billups agrees and thinks it a great move to have something of that nature for growing NBA fans in Colorado with the rise of the Nuggets since his arrival last season in a trade that sent him home from the Detroit Pistons, but shipped Allen Iverson the other way.
“I think it is huge that fans here have the opportunity to shop like NBA fans do in New York and even if it’s not my jersey, you can come and get any other player that you love and you can come to Champs,” Billups said. “It’s all in one spot and they gonna have everything official for you.”
Now known for power blue uniforms on the Nuggets Pepsi Center floor, Billups transformed into a Champs Sports employee equipped with a scanner and name tag for his day job. His fans appreciated that a lot.
“It’s great to walk into the store and there is an NBA superstar working the register,” says Derek Garduno another Nuggets fan who was beaming when Billups scanned and signed his merchandise. “It also shows he is human, it makes you feel like is part of us and the guy always gives back to his community.”
Obviously one of the best point guards of his generation as the 2004 NBA Finals MVP while with the Pistons, Billups looked a natural working the register with his excited Champs store coworkers for the day. He helped take orders and signed autographs for excited fans who traveled from all over the state as far as Greeley and Boulder.
“I think it is awesome, says Jim Vigio of Champs who got to work with Billups. “It’s a great experience to see a big idol that everybody looks up to coming in here and giving his time.”
Getting your official authentic NBA gear exclusively at 5th Avenue is now a thing of the past. You can pick it up in Colorado now, not just in New York or Los Angeles.
“It’s huge, because it been times where even I as a fan wanting to get the hottest shoes or jersey’s or even t-shirts and couldn’t get it like there was no access to it because you have to be on either coast. Its great!” says Billups younger brother Rodney.
A great idea, maybe now Billups’ jersey sale will go up with a smaller version of the store in his state. “I hope so, I hope my jersey sales go up with this,” Billups joked.