NUGGETS

Manning takes brief break from NBA Finals to worry about Chiefs

Jun 2, 2023, 2:12 PM

Peyton Manning at NBA Finals...

Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

If anyone knows how good of a coach Sean Payton has been in the NFL, it might be Peyton Manning.

The Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback lost a Super Bowl while playing for the Indianapolis Colts to Payton’s New Orleans Saints. Now Peyton is praising Payton and thinks this is the person who can get the most out of current Broncos gunslinger and one-time Super Bowl-winner Russell Wilson.

“Sean has brought some new juice here; he’s going to get the best out of Russell,” Manning said on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith telecast of the NBA Finals. “Russell feels rejuvenated as well. I like my Broncos.”

Manning was at Ball Arena with his son cheering on the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. He was sitting very close to Payton, while Wilson was also in the house sitting next to safety Justin Simmons.

“I’ve been living in Denver for 11 years now,” Manning said. “Football town, hockey town, and now a basketball town. It’s been great, and it’s been a fun run to watch these guys.”

It was quite the day for The Sheriff, who golfed with NBA legend Charles Barkley before the game. But all the excitement didn’t stop Manning from worrying about the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I like my Broncos, I wish the Chiefs would get out of the division” Manning joked. “Unfortunately they’re not going anywhere so we’ve still got some work to do.”

Kansas City has made it to the postseason in eight-straight years and since quarterback Patrick Mahomes started playing, they’ve made it to the AFC Championship Game every single year. They’ve appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls and have won two. The Broncos meanwhile have the second-longest playoff drought in the NFL and Wilson’s first season in Denver last year was not encouraging.

But like Manning said, maybe first-year head coach Payton is the answer to ending the Broncos horrid stretch against the Chiefs.

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