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Miami Heat center Thomas Bryant achieved the dream of most NBA players on Thursday when he received his first championship ring. But here's the rub: he didn't get to stick around and enjoy the moment.

Bryant, a seven-year veteran at center, began last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but was traded to the Denver Nuggets at the deadline. Though he played only minimally in Denver, he was a part of the Nuggets team that ultimately won the 2023 championship, and has typically been regarded as a valuable member of that locker room. 

This offseason, Bryant left the Nuggets to sign with the Heat, so he didn't get to celebrate the championship with his former teammates until his new team made its lone trip to Denver for the season, which came on Thursday. Sure enough, Bryant received a warm welcome from both the Denver fans and the Nuggets players he won that championship with when he actually received that ring.

However, Bryant wasn't allowed to stick around. Thursday represents the third game of the three-game suspension he earned for his part in last week's brawl between the Pelicans and Heat. Typically, a suspended player is not allowed in the arena at all. However, with Bryant's Heat not returning to Denver again this season, the NBA made an exception so he could receive his ring... but he couldn't stick around afterward. And, at the end of this video, you can watch Bryant exit the court in the background, presumably leaving the building entirely:

Thursday was already going to be a somewhat awkward night for Bryant. After all, his new teammates in Miami lost to his old ones in Denver in last season's Finals, and watching one of your teammates accept jewelry for beating you is a pretty unusual occurrence in the NBA. His swift exit from the building only made matters stranger. Still, the Nuggets were happy to celebrate Bryant. Several key players from last year's championship run left over the summer, and Michael Malone is glad the team has been able to celebrate all of them.

"Great to see him, I haven't seen him since June," Malone said. "Whether it was Ish [Smith], Bruce [Brown], Jeff [Green] and now Thomas. Getting rings in front of the crowd—It's just a way of thanking him for his contributions."

In the end, what matters is that Bryant got his moment to celebrate with Denver's fans. It may have been a little unorthodox, but, hey, now Bryant can claim a bit of history as the only player ever to get kicked out of their own championship ring ceremony.