Dan Issel is a former American professional basketball player and coach. He was born on October 25, 1948, in Batavia, Illinois. Issel played college basketball at the University of Kentucky, where he was a two-time All-American and helped lead the team to the 1966 NCAA championship game. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1970, but he chose to play in the American Basketball Association (ABA) for the Denver Rockets, which later became the Denver Nuggets.
Issel spent his entire ABA career with the Denver Rockets/Nuggets, earning six All-Star selections and being named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1975. He led the team to the ABA championship in 1976. When the ABA merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976, Issel continued his career with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA. He retired as a player in 1985, holding the record for most points scored by a player in an ABA or NBA career with 27,482.
After retiring as a player, Issel became the head coach of the Denver Nuggets in 1992. He led the team to the playoffs in three of his five seasons as coach, but he resigned in 1995. In 1999, he became the head coach of the Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). In 2001, he returned to the Denver Nuggets as a scout and later served as a television commentator for the team.
Dan Issel was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest ABA players of all time and as one of the best players in the history of the Denver Nuggets franchise.