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'It's exciting for the city': Broncos excited for Nuggets, look to draw motivation from their NBA Finals appearance

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos continue their offseason program, the Nuggets are set to compete for a world championship.

Head Coach Sean Payton is set to be in attendance for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, and he previously sat courtside as the Nuggets defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The top-seeded Nuggets have a number of impressive traits, but Payton said their unselfishness and strong culture have both stood out to him as he's watched the team's playoff run.

"When I've watched them — we all get caught up and you get excited — but the star players are unselfish, and I feel like it's a team that enjoys each other," Payton said. "I'm going to guess that they probably do things together off the court, and I don't know that that's the case with every team.

"Literally last week, I was just having a conversation with [Hall of Fame coach] Mike Krzyzewski about something else, and then I asked the question, 'How do you like [them] to match up with the [Miami] Heat?' He mentioned culture with both teams. I think you see that with [the Nuggets], and I think you see it from the Heat, as well. It's why they are the last two teams remaining. From a beginner's perspective, when I watch them, you feel that, and that's impressive."

Payton said he texted Nuggets head coach Michael Malone after Denver swept the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals to wish him good luck.

"It's exciting for the city," Payton said.

That excitement can also serve as motivation for the Broncos, according to cornerback Pat Surtain II.

"The city is in good hands right now," Surtain said. "Obviously it's a big sports town, a big sports city. When you see other teams in the Denver area have huge success, it's definitely motivating."

Despite being South Florida natives, Surtain and safety Justin Simmons are both pulling for the Nuggets to earn their first championship.

"I've got to rep the Nuggets," Surtain said. "That's why I'm here. You've got to rep the team that you're playing for [their] city."

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