Nuggets dynasty? For former CU Buffs star Derrick White, that would be great.

PARKER, CO – JUNE 28: Derrick White of the Boston Celtics spends time with the youth during the Derrick White Academy at Parker Fieldhouse in Parker, Colorado on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

PARKER — While the 16-year-old inside Derrick White was completely shaken, the 28-year-old Boston Celtic on the outside was tempted to pull an Elvis on his television.

“I mean, it was hard to watch,” White, the former CU Buffs and Legend High star, told me during a break at his Derrick White Academy youth basketball camp Wednesday at Parker Fieldhouse. “I watched Game 5 (of the NBA Finals). That was the only one I watched.”

On this much, all the voices inside White’s head agree. The Nuggets haven’t just set the bar for the rest of the NBA. The is the bar. With or without free-agent super sub Bruce Brown riding shotgun.

“I don’t know about favorites or not. It’s out of my salary range,” White laughed. “But they were the best team last year. They did what they had to. And everyone must now hunt them.”

If Boston’s Jayson Tatum doesn’t roll his ankle in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, what then? Maybe someone else is king of the mountain right now.

But know this: That the C’s got a chance to face the Nuggets in the Finals, certainly not at White, who averaged 14.3 points and 3.3 treys in the conference finals while connecting on 48.9% of his attempts from beyond the arc. Oh, and there was that last-second little heads-up that single-handedly saved Boston in Game 6 and forced the series to go the distance.

In arguably the most adorable moment of White’s insanely adorable Q-and-A session with campers during the 6 p.m. 11 a.m., one of the kids asked if the Celtics guard could repeat Tip Heard ‘Round The World.

“Someone has to miss it the same way (Marcus Smart) missed it,” White replied with a shrug.

A billion little hands shot up at once.

“I can miss!” cried a child.

“I can miss too!” another pleaded.

The shavers were in seriously good shape Wednesday. Good question form anyway.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray?

“Probably the hardest (duo) to guard in the league,” White responded.

Toughest guy to defend?

“(James) Harden (when I was a rookie) … pretty much every (replica) jersey you see at this camp is tough to guard.”

Could you make a trade for Denver?

“Why would I want to be traded? I like where I am right now.”

He should too. White was so effective during his first full season in the Celtics backcourt that Boston felt comfortable enough to trade his old running mate, Marcus Smart, to Memphis in a deal that brought back big man Kristaps Porzingis from Washington.

“Obviously on a personal level it’s hard to see Smart go,” White told me. “He does so many things – there’s really no substitute for what Marcus Smart does.

“But bringing (Porzingis) in and the things he can do is going to be a big help to our team and we’re looking forward to it. And my mind says I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to be better than I was last year and I’m getting more opportunities and I just have to take advantage of it.”

And as good a player as White is, he’s an even better guy. During the camp’s lunch break, a strapping 7-footer in a white t-shirt snuck in to give his old friend some grief.

It wasn’t long before one of the youngsters in the Fieldhouse ran right up to White’s friend and former Spurs teammate, Raptors center Jakob Poeltl.

The mop then stretched out its tiny neck as if the big lug was a skyscraper and asked him rhetorically:

“Are you an NBA player?”

Poeltl, who had popped into town to hang with White on his way to the wedding of San Antonio guard Tre Jones, just nodded and laughed.

Big Jakob at least had a place to crash. Last June at this time, White made a deal with the family of Avs star Nathan MacKinnon to rent their suburban Denver home for part of the summer.

Alas, that gambit ran headlong into two problems. First, the Stanley Cup playoffs started late. Two, the Avs and MacKinnon rocked that party right up until closing time.

The Avs didn’t hit until June 26 – Game 6 in Tampa, on a balmy Sunday night – and didn’t hold their celebratory parade until the morning of June 30.

“Yeah, it was a nice little thing, we ran where Nathan MacKinnon’s parents would go overseas and then I would (arrive) at about the same time,” White recalled. “It worked. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with that anymore.”

He has his own place here now, so no harm done. Although it was kind of like watching the Nuggets lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy to have one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets in your hands, only for it to blow away. Then finding out that the guy who got the case was your best friend in 7th grade.

If it couldn’t be Hi m, he’s glad it’s them. Mostly. Pretty much.

“Obviously, it’s great for the state of Colorado,” White said. “And I will say I was happy that (the Nuggets) won. But it was tough that we weren’t in a position (to win the Finals). That was our goal at the end of the day. So we have to do what we have to do to get back and get to that level as well. Quickly.”

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