ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos were back on the practice field on Thursday, but the big story in Denver is the NBA Finals starting Thursday night.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton said he’s meeting up with some friends who also played quarterback at Eastern Illinois—Tony Romo?—to go to Game 1.

“We get together once a year,” Payton. “It’s gonna be fun. I’m gonna convert them to Nuggets fans.”

Payton has already attended a handful of games already, including sitting courtside on a couple of occasions, and he says his Broncos could learn a thing or two from their crosstown neighbors.

“When I watch them—we all get caught up and get excited—your star players are unselfish and I feel like it’s a team that enjoys each other, and I’m gonna guess that they probably spend time with each other off the court and I don’t think that that’s the case with every team.”

Payton said he was talking with legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski about something unrelated to basketball last week and asked about his thoughts on the Finals.

“He mentioned culture with both teams,” Payton said. “I think you see that with our team (the Nuggets) and the Heat as well. It’s why they’re the last two teams remaining.”

Two All-Pro Broncos, Justin Simmons and Pat Surtain, wore Nuggets hats to the podium. Surtain is from South Florida, but has converted his NBA fandom.

“When you see other teams in the city have success, it’s definitely motivating,” Surtain said.


Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. After graduation, he joined DNVR. He spent three years covering the University of Colorado before moving to the Broncos beat ahead of the 2022 season. Henry joined DNVR as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at DNVR headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM. Follow Henry on Twitter - @HenryChisholm