SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As it turns out, even a man in line for more than a quarter billion dollars can still have a go-to t-shirt.

Whether he’s taking batting practice, winning team shooting competitions, or simply just walking around the Colorado Rockies’ clubhouse at Salt River Fields, you can find newly-minted $260 million-dollar man Nolan Arenado rocking his Denver Nuggets, Nike Dri-Fit, City Edition Tee.

It’s a clean look with DENVER in bold white letters hovering over a modern iteration of the Nuggets’ classic rainbow look, with a mountain silhouette replacing the skyline. A perfect fit for one of the team’s biggest new fans.

“The Nuggets are having a great year, and it’s really fun to watch,” Arenado told BSN earlier in the Spring, fittingly wearing his favorite threads. “It’s fun, man. It’s great for the city, and I’m happy that they’re playing so well.”

Arenado’s support of the Nuggets falls in line with a fantastic trend that has been sweeping through the state over the past couple of years—Colorado athletes supporting Colorado athletes. You can find Von Miller and Co. sitting courtside or on the glass at the Pepsi Center. You’re sure to see Phillip Lindsay behind home plate at Coors this year. It’s hard to miss Nikola Jokic supporting the Avs in a sweater that doesn’t quite fit, and you can definitely find Kyle Freeland on the sidelines at Mile High.

Being a great athlete in Colorado has become a brotherhood.

“It’s really cool,” Arenado said. “I think it keeps things lively and keeps everyone fired up for each team’s seasons. We are out here representing the whole state of Colorado, so we take a lot of pride in cheering each other on and hopefully having the best teams out there.”

But the Nugget Arenado cheers on the hardest isn’t who you’d think it is. Not one of his fellow superstars, or at least not anymore.

“I’m a pretty big fan of Isaiah Thomas, so it’s cool that he’s on the team,” he said.

And it’s not because of an off-the-field friendship, either.

“Just the way he is,” Arenado said of his IT fandom. “He’s a little guy; I remember watching him at Washington in the Pac-12 and watching how competitive he is and how far he’s come. A lot of people doubted him, and he’s overcome a lot, so it’s fun to watch.”

Remember, this is coming from a guy who was labeled an unathletic, duck-footed, lumbering prospect who “projected” as a catcher in the big leagues. If you haven’t been paying attention, Arenado has since turned himself into one of the greatest defensive third basemen in MLB history, so maybe it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that he has a soft spot for the underdog.

That might also help to explain the six-time Gold Glover’s attraction to the Nuggets, the team on a mission to win a championship with a home-grown roster in the super-team era. It also can’t hurt that Denver is led by another guy who was labeled an unatheletic, duck-footed, lumbering prospect, although a few of those things may be true of the basketball unicorn that is good ‘ol Nikola Jokic.

In the end, though, Arenado’s favorite thing about his favorite tee is bigger than just the Nuggets.

“It says Denver on it, and I’m just big on representing Denver,” he explained.

Now that’s a franchise player.

Ryan Koenigsberg
Author

Ryan D. Koenigsberg, was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, and is the Vice President of Content Strategy and co-founder of BSN Denver. Ryan also covers and travels with the Denver Broncos. Education: Graduated from the University of Colorado in 2015 with a degree in both Broadcast Journalism and Communication. Career: I got my start in Journalism in 2011 with an internship covering University of Colorado athletics for a website called BuffScoop.com, a branch of the 247Sports Network. Less than one year after accepting that position, I was promoted to the lead writer of the site. After another year at BuffScoop, I was hired to a staff position covering the Buffaloes for Buffstampede.com, the CU site for the Rivals.com network. Two years later, shortly before officially graduating from CU, I was approached by a dude named Brandon Spano who was planning to revolutionize the way sports were covered in our great state. I accepted a position on the ground floor of BSN Denver that, at the time, centered—once again—around covering the Buffaloes. After another year on the Buffs beat that resulted in winning the inaugural BSN Denver Silver Slugger award—given to the writer whose stories generated the most traffic—I was promoted to the Broncos beat. In my time at BSN, I’ve had the pleasure of covering a Super Bowl, a Pac-12 Championship, a bowl game, multiple games in the NCAA Tournament and so much more. Somewhere along the way, I earned that fancy title you see at the top of all this. Most memorable sports moment: Nov. 23, 2001: Behind SIX Chris Brown rushing touchdowns, the No. 14 Colorado Buffaloes trounce the No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers by a count of 62-36. It was the day I fell in love with college football for good. So much so that I haven’t missed a single Buffs’ home game since. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: I don’t know about finest, but when I was in elementary school, I read every single Matt Christopher book in our school library. It was the best way to not stray away from sports while still filling those pesky reading logs. One sports movie that I can’t live without: When I was a kid, I didn’t have cable in my room but I did have a TV with a VCR. Thing is, I only had a few movies on VCR and I needed to have the TV on to fall asleep. Well, eventually I came around to the fact that the best movie I had was “Cool Runnings,” so I feel asleep to the Jamaican Bobsled team every night for years. You need sleep to live and I couldn’t sleep without “Cool Runnings” SO I guess that’s the one I can’t live without. Most memorable experience as a reporter: Pretty hard to beat the week leading up  to Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. To be at the center of the sports world with not only the greatest athletes but also the greatest sports journalists in the world all around was a truly special experience. Between wake up calls at 4:45 am to catch the media shuttle to the Broncos hotel by 6, the 14-hour work days and the regrettable post-work festivities, I calculated that I got about 20 hours of sleep over an eight-day period… and I wouldn’t have traded one minute of it all. That was awesome. The sport that started it all: It’s hard to pinpoint one sport that truly “started it all” for me. When I was a kid, I remember people used to always ask me what my favorite sport was, and I would always answer the same thing, “Whatever sport is in season.” As long as I can remember, my life has always revolved directly around sports, from playing to watching to writing. It’s not a sport that started it all, it sports that started it all.