Nuggets plan to continue excluding Aaron Gordon from team dinners amid playoff winning streak

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The second round of the NBA playoffs got off to a rough start for the defending champion Denver Nuggets. The Minnesota Timberwolves, led by two-time NBA All-Star Anthony Edwards, won the first two games in the Western Conference semifinals series.

The series shifted to Minnesota for Game 3 and Game 4, where the Nuggets were able to overcome the hostile environment and get back on the winning track. The Nuggets pushed their winning streak to three games when they cruised to a 112-97 victory in Game 5.

But, shortly after Denver fell behind in the series, the team decided to have a players-only dinner. The Nuggets have not lost a playoff game since the dinners began. But one player has been noticeably missing from the team dinners — Aaron Gordon.

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Aaron Gordon plays against the Nets

Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 22, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nuggets won 122-117.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The team plans to continue with the players-only meals — minus Gordon — for at least the remainder of the conference semifinals.

But Gordon seems to have an understanding of why he is being left out of the dinners and is taking it in stride.

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“DJ, y’all going to team dinner?” Gordon asked his teammate DeAndre Jordan in the locker room after the team’s Game 5 win. Jordan organized the dinners.

“Yeah — not you though,” Jordan responded via The Athletic. “We’ll see you next round (of the playoffs). Sorry, dawg. We’ll bring you some takeout though.”

Aaron Gordon celebrates during a game

Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates a three pointer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center on December 12, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“I understand,” Gordon said. “I understand.”

The first team dinner took place at a steakhouse in Minneapolis and was viewed as an opportunity for the team to bond following their disappointing start against the Timberwolves.

Aaron Gordon plays against the Warriors

Dec 25, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) during  the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Ball Arena. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

While Gordon missed the dinner after Game 2, he decided some retail therapy would be beneficial.

“I bought some three-wheel cars for my family,” Gordon told The Athletic. “A little retail therapy. They’re called Vanderhalls. They’re really dope. I went in looking to buy just one. But generosity, and just having a little bit of fun, helped.”

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The Timberwolves host the Nuggets in Game 6.

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