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John Elway, Joe Sakic, Nikola Jokic, and Todd Helton were voted the best of the best on Denver’s Mount Rushmore of Sports



The SN Rushmore project selected four professional athletes from the 13 cities that have had at least four of the five leagues represented for at least 20 years: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and WNBA. While there were no hard and fast rules regarding the athletes chosen, our panel of experts considered individual resumes, team success, and legacy within each city’s sports landscape. There could be multiple players from the same franchise, and not every franchise had to be represented. Every sports fan has an opinion on this subject. This is our property.

Denver arrived late to the professional sports scene. Its basketball team began in the ABA rather than the NBA. Its football team began in the AFL rather than the NFL. Major League Baseball didn’t arrive until 1993, and the NHL didn’t make Colorado its permanent home until 1995.

But the legacies of the four players on Denver’s professional sports Mount Rushmore are etched in stone in one of the country’s most scenic and dynamic communities.

These four had — or, in the case of Nikola Joki, still have — the kind of staying power that comes from making a difference on and off the field.

The first to arrive was John Elway, the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, who came to town when the Broncos completed the trade with the Baltimore Colts that nearly every other NFL franchise had attempted and failed to complete. His arrival heralded the beginning of a new era in Denver.

“That was the first time I felt like I was around a rock star,” longtime Denver sportswriter Woody Paige said, “and that was really true throughout his career.”

Elway was a Broncos player for 16 years. Todd Helton spent 17 years in Denver, arriving a few years after the Rockies and remaining with the club throughout his career.

Joe Sakic moved to Denver when his Quebec Nordiques relocated, and he hasn’t left since. He played the Avalanche for the final 13 seasons of his career, and his front-office career with the team began soon after and continues to this day.

Nikola Joki, the two-time reigning NBA MVP, has been with the Nuggets for seven seasons and signed a five-year, $270 million supermax extension this summer that keeps him in Denver until 2027-28. “I like the organisation and the people who work here,” he said in April.

Loyalty. That is something that both Denver sports fans and the city’s biggest stars appreciate.

JOHN ELWAY (Broncos, 1983-98)

Broncos head coach Dan Reeves was eating a sub sandwich in his office. Back in the early 1980s, it was easy to walk into an NFL head coach’s office with even a smidgeon of confidence and the right verifieds, and long-time Denver sportswriter Woody Paige possessed both. Paige had spent time travelling the country to look at the top draught prospects, the players the Broncos might be considering with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1983 draught, because the NFL players strike had wiped out the first part of the 1982 season.

“I went into Reeves’ office and told him everything.” ‘I’ve seen the NFL’s future,’ Paige said. “‘What are you talking about?’ he asked. ‘It’s John Elway,’ I said.

Paige witnessed Elway at Stanford throw a pass straight at a defensive back 15 yards away, and the ball went through the defensive back’s hands before he could close them around the football.

“I told him, ’I’ve been around this game for a long time, and I’ve never seen that.’” Reeves looked at me and said, ‘We can’t get him.’ The Broncos had the fourth draft pick, and there was no way he was going to slide down to the fourth pick.”

You already know how that story ended. Elway told the Baltimore Colts, who had the No. 1 pick, that he would not play for them because he preferred baseball — he batted. In 42 games for the YankeesLow-A club in the summer of 1982, he hit 318 with four home runs and thirteen stolen bases — but the Colts took him anyway. Elway was traded to Denver shortly after the draught. It was the most significant trade in Denver professional sports history.

Elway was a Broncos player for 16 years. He basically willed ragtag Broncos teams to Super Bowl appearances in 1986, 1987, and 1989 before guiding much better teams to titles in 1997 and 1998. At 37 years old, his helicopter run, in which he sacrificed his body for a third-quarter first down, was the game-winning play in the 1997 Super Bowl against Green Bay. At 38 years old, in his final game, he was named Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 336 yards in the win over the Falcons.

He was in nine Pro Bowls and oversaw 47 fourth-quarter comebacks. He engineered The Drive and The Drive 2, crushing Cleveland fans’ hopes two years in a row. Elway retired with 300 passing touchdowns and 51,475 yards. Paige was chosen to give the nominating speech to the voting committee in his first year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He prepared a four-page speech outlining Elway’s extensive resume.

But what happened when the time came?

“I stand up, pause, and say, “Gentlemen, John Elway.” “And I sat down again,” Paige explained. “It was the shortest speech in Pro Football Hall of Fame history.” Everyone in the audience applauded. Nobody stood up and spoke for the first time in history because there was no reason to. He embodied the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

SAKIC, JOE (Avalanche, 1995-2009)

What do you think of this as a good first impression? Joe Sakic helped give Denver sports fans something they’d never seen before in his first season in the Mile High City: a championship.

That should work.

For the 1995-96 season, the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver, changed their name to the Avalanche, and rolled through the playoffs, eventually winning the Stanley Cup after a sweep of the Florida Panthers in the Finals. The Broncos had been title-less since their inception as an AFL franchise in 1960, the Nuggets since 1967, and the Rockies since 1993. Sakic and the Avalanche took advantage of their first opportunity to end Colorado’s drought.

Sakic, the 26-year-old captain and future Hockey Hall of Famer, was outstanding throughout the run, tallying 18 goals and 16 assists in 22 games to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP. Paige, a long-time Denver columnist, asked Sakic if he could visit Sakic’s boyhood home just outside of Vancouver when the Avalanche travelled to Vancouver for the first round of the 1996 playoffs. Paige spent the day with Sakic’s parents, who still lived in the house, after Sakic agreed. Marijan, Sakic’s mother, told Paige a story that has stayed with her to this day.

“When he would come home from playing hockey as a kid, the first thing he would do is sit in his closet and shine his skates,” Paige said. “One day he was crying, and his mother said, ‘Why would you be crying while you’re shining your skates? How did the game go?’ And he said, ‘We lost, 9-7.’ So he was crying about losing. She said, ‘How did you do?’ And he said, ‘Well, I scored seven goals.’ ”

Sakic was always more concerned with winning than with personal accomplishments. The Avalanche won their division for the first seven seasons they were in Denver, winning a second Stanley Cup in 2001, the same year Sakic was named league MVP. He also received the Pearson Award, which is given to the NHLPA’s Most Outstanding Player, and the Lady Byng Trophy, which is given to the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

In essence, the Joe Sakic Award. Sakic spent his entire career with the team, including the last 13 seasons in Colorado. Only two of those seasons did the Avalanche miss the playoffs, an unprecedented run of success in Denver. Sakic, a centre, ranks ninth in NHL history with 1,641 points, 13th with 1,016 assists, and 16th with goals scored (625). Sakic had 84 goals and 104 assists for 188 points in 172 career playoff games. He was named to the first team postseason All-Star squad three times and was named to the All-Star team ten times in total. He left the Avalanche front office in 2009 and returned two years later. He was named Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations in 2013, with final authority over personnel decisions. That is, he was the architect of the 2021-22 team that won the Stanley Cup again in June.

“When I think of Joe Sakic, he’s one of the greatest players in NHL history,” Paige said, “but also one of the greatest people that Colorado could possibly have in its midst because of what he’s done in his career, with the two championships, and what he’s done as an executive, and what he’s done as a person? Look up his association with the Food Bank of the Rockies.”

The first Google result is a blog post titled “Thank You a Million, Joe and Debbie!” “Over the years, Joe and Debbie have helped Food Bank of the Rockies provide more than 21 million meals, ensuring little ones have nourishment to grow and thrive,” the post says.

Indeed, Rushmore-worthy.

JOKI, NIKOLA (Nuggets, 2015-)

Nikola Joki, unlike the other players on Denver’s Rushmore, was not a sure thing when he arrived in Colorado. Elway was the first overall pick in the 1983 Draft, Todd Helton was the eighth overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft, and Sakic was already the team captain and an established star when the Nordiques relocated from Quebec to become the Avalanche.

But what about Joki? He was just a pudgy 7-foot second-round project from Eastern Europe who drank three litres of Coca-Cola every day. His arrival was so unremarkable that ESPN was showing a Taco Bell commercial for its new quesarito as he was selected with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

It didn’t take long for the Nuggets to realise they’d found something special.

“What shocked me about Nikola was that he could shoot a 3-pointer,” Paige said. “That’s not the body that fits a 3-point shooter. It fits a guy who slugs it out under the basket and gets rebounds and puts them back in.”

Joki quit drinking Coca-Cola, avoided the quesarito trappings, and transformed his body. He was averaging nearly a double-double by his third season (16.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game). He was just getting warmed up when he played in his first All-Star Game in his fourth season, just two days before his 24th birthday.

Joki was named MVP of the 2020-21 season after averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game while shooting 56.6 percent from the field. Then, in the 2021-22 season, he improved even more, increasing his scoring to 27.1 points (on 58.8 percent shooting) and his rebounds to 13.8, to go along with 7.9 assists.

So, yeah, he won his second consecutive NBA MVP award, becoming only the 13th player in NBA history to do so. Nobody has ever won three races in a row. If he isn’t already No. 1, he is on the very short list of the best passing big men in NBA history.

“He is a triple-double waiting to happen every night,” Paige said. “That was Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. Jokić is in that category.”

Some may argue that he has yet to earn a spot above Denver basketball legends Adrian Dantley and Dan Issel in the Hall of Fame. And, while he hasn’t yet reached their years or advanced statistics like Win Shares, Joki is closer than you probably realise in both categories, and neither Dantley nor Issel has ever won one MVP, let alone two. Furthermore, he is still only 27 years old and on the rise.

“I think we have not seen the peak of Nikola Jokić,” Paige said. “He’s got another 10 years if he wants to play that long.There’s nobody laughing at the Joker.”

HELTON, TODD (Rockies, 1997-2013)

Larry Walker, by a razor-thin margin over Todd Helton, can be argued to be the best baseball player ever to wear the Rockies uniform.

But Helton was an obvious choice for a place on Denver’s Rushmore. Without a doubt, The Toddfather is Rockies baseball. Paige stated, “Todd was a lot more popular than Larry Walker.”

Helton was the team’s first true homegrown star. Walker, along with the other Blake Street BombersAndres Galarraga, Dante Bichette, and Vinny Castilla — arrived in Colorado after beginning their MLB careers elsewhere. They all finished somewhere else as well.

But what about Helton? He was chosen by the Rockies with the No. 8 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft and never played for another team in his entire career. That has to mean something.

Helton averaged 35 home runs, 118 RBIs, 47 doubles, and 117 runs scored in his first seven full seasons with the Rockies, along with a.340 batting average, 434 on-base percentage, and.620 slugging percentage, with a 149 OPS+ and 6.2 bWAR. Even in Colorado’s thin air, those are staggering figures. Oh, and the humidor that was installed at Coors Field to try to reduce offence? That was implemented in 2002, and Helton had a slash line of.342/.452/.609 in the first three years of that era.

When it comes to career statistics in Rockies history, Helton ranks first in almost every single category, often by a wide margin. He has nearly 1,000 more hits, 295 more doubles, 111 more home runs, 509 more runs scored, 558 more RBIs, and 751 more walks than any other Rockies player. That list could go on and on.

Todd allowed the Rockies to have their own mega star,” Paige said. “The others left, and it was Todd. Toddy Ballgame. He could hit to all fields. He was a great defensive first baseman.”

And, while he wasn’t the same player by the 2007 season — injuries, including chronic back problems, had sapped most of his power — he still helped lead the Rockies to their first World Series appearance. Younger players like Matt Holliday and Troy Tulowitzki were the main attractions, but Helton hit.320 with a 133 OPS+, 17 homers, and 91 RBIs in 154 games at the age of 33. The Rockies finished the regular season with 14 wins in 15 games to earn the wild-card spot, and Helton hit. 351 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in that span, including a two-run homer in the Game 163 tiebreaker.

“The most famous photo in Coors Field is with Todd Helton jumping in the air when the Rockies clinched going to the World Series,” Paige said.

That’s how it should be.


Top 10 Tallest NBA Players in History



Top 10 Tallest NBA Players in History

The NBA’s tallest players take a risk. These giants have dominated games because of their height, blocking, and rebounding. NBA shot blockers are tall. Their height and wingspan make them shot-blockers. Height lets them grab more boards. Due to their height and girth, these guys score well in the paint.

They scare and defeat opponents easily. The mid-range jump shot is improved, giving some more attacking possibilities. Ha Seung-Jin blocks shots. Bol and Eaton have the most blocks per game in NBA history. Yao Ming, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Gheorghe Muresan scored inside or midrange.

Arvydas Sabonis and Rik Smits were respected for their passing, court vision, and ball handling despite their height. Their height allowed them to view the entire field and deliver accurate passes to teammates. The NBA’s tallest players, on average, stand out due to their great physiques and skill at using their height. NBA’s tallest.

  1. Gheorghe Muresan – 7 feet 7 inches
  2. Yao Ming – 7 feet 6 inches
  3. Manute Bol – 7 feet 7 inches
  4. Shawn Bradley – 7 feet 6 inches
  5. Rik Smits – 7 feet 4 inches
  6. Arvydas Sabonis – 7 feet 3 inches
  7. Mark Eaton – 7 feet 4 inches
  8. Vladimir Stepania – 7 feet 2 inches
  9. Ha Seung-Jin – 7 feet 3 inches
  10. Zydrunas Ilgauskas – 7 feet 3 inches

Gheorghe Muresan

Romanian Gheorghe Mureşan played professionally for several years before retiring. born in Tritenii de Jos, Romania, on February 14, 1971. He’s one of the NBA’s tallest players at 7’7″ (2.31 meters). After the Bullets and Wizards, he joined the New Jersey Nets. The Bullets drafted him in the second round in 1993. He was the NBA’s tallest player and twice earned Most Improved. His mid-range jump shots and shot-blocking were well-regarded. In 2000, he returned to Romania.

Yao Ming

NBA legend Yao Ming retires. born in Shanghai, China, on September 12, 1980. He’s one of the NBA’s tallest at 7’6″ (2.29 m). Houston Rockets, 2002–2011 He quickly became one of the NBA’s most beloved and productive foreign players after being drafted first overall in 2002. He was named an All-NBA player twice and an All-Star eight times. He won five All-Star Game MVPs. Despite retiring from basketball in 2011 due to injuries, he is still revered in China and throughout the world.

Manute Bol

Manute Bol played basketball for the US in Sudan. born in Turalei, Sudan, on October 16, 1962. He was one of the NBA’s tallest players at 7’7″ (2.31 m). His NBA teams included the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Washington Bullets. all-star shot-blocker and three-point shooter. His humanitarian work in Sudan, his homeland, made him famous. He helped Sudan’s Dinka people with health, education, and shelter using his NBA money and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador status. He died in Charlottesville on June 19, 2010.

Shawn Bradley

Shawn Bradley retired from basketball. Born in Landstuhl, West Germany, on March 22, 1972. He’s one of the NBA’s tallest at 7’6″ (2.29 m). He played in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks. The Sixers drafted him second overall in 1993. He blocked shots and ran well for a large man. He retired in 2005 due to back problems. Bradley, a devout Latter-day Saint, served a mission in Sydney, Australia, after retiring from the NBA.

Rik Smits

Rik Smits retired from basketball. Eindhoven, Netherlands, was his birthplace. Height: 2.24 meters (7.4 ft). Indiana Pacers from 1988 until 2000 He was drafted second overall by the Indiana Pacers in 1988. He was known for his mid-range shooting and low-post trickery. He was an NBA All-Star twice and helped the Pacers reach the 2000 NBA Finals. He retired in 2000 due to a knee injury. Smits owned a car dealership, restaurant, and sports academy after leaving the NBA.

Arvydas Sabonis

Arvydas Sabonis, a Lithuanian national basketball player, retired. born in Kaunas, Lithuania, on December 19, 1964. At 7 feet, 3 inches, he is one of the finest big men in history (2.21 m). He won numerous medals for the Soviet Union and Lithuania, including the 1988 Olympic gold. He played for Algiris Kaunas, the most successful European team, before joining the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA in 1995. Despite his senior age, his basketball IQ, passing, shooting, and ability to play above the rim made him a league standout. He retired from the NBA in 2001.

Mark Eaton

Retired NBA player Mark Eaton resides in the US. born in Riverside, California, on January 24, 1957. He’s one of the NBA’s tallest at 7’4″ (2.24 m). Utah Jazz, 1982–1993. After a tryout, he made the team. He was twice named NBA Defensive Player of the Year and four times named to the NBA All-Defensive Team for his blocks and rebounds. His injuries forced his 1993 retirement. After retiring from basketball, Eaton opened “The Mark Eaton Restaurant” in Park City, Utah, and spoke on motivation.

Vladimir Stepania

Inactive Belarusian basketball player Vladimir Stepania was born in Minsk, Belarus, on September 15, 1976. He towered above most at 2.18 meters (7.2 inches). Before joining the Seattle SuperSonics in 1999, he played throughout Europe and Asia. Former Seattle SuperSonics, New Orleans Hornets, and Atlanta Hawks player He was a backup center with size and defense. He returned to Belarus to coach after retiring in 2008.

Ha Seung-Jin

South Korean basketball player Ha Seung-Jin was born in Goyang, South Korea, on January 27, 1986. He is one of the tallest South Korean Basketball League players at 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m). He won multiple South Korean Basketball League titles with Wonju Dongbu Promy. He is famous for shot-blocking and his height. The Portland Trail Blazers drafted him second overall in 2004. He instead played in South Korea.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Former Lithuanian basketball player Zydrunas Ilgauskas was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, on June 5, 1975. He’s one of the NBA’s tallest players at 7’3″ (2.21 meters). He played for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat from 1997 to 2011. The Cavaliers picked him twenty-first in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was large and skilled in the post and mid-range.

The Cavaliers retired his No. 11 jersey from his two NBA All-Star seasons. He helped the Cavaliers reach the 2007 NBA Finals. He retired in 2011. After retiring, Ilgauskas worked in business and analyzed the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Who will be the Fan Favorites in NBA All-Star Voting 2023



Who will be the Fan Favorites in NBA All-Star Voting 2023

Who will be the Fan Favorites in NBA All-Star Voting 2023

There have been some incredible battles for NBA All-Star Voting in years past. But LeBron James has consistently been the most popular candidate and has faced off against Kevin Durant in the majority of polls. The forward for the Los Angeles Lakers has a significant lead in the NBA All-Star voting. Although LeBron currently leads Kevin Durant by a slim margin (3.2 million to 3.1 million votes), Durant has a good chance of catching up in the near future. This article will detail all of the fan favorites for NBA All-Star voting in 2023. We will also review the voting results from previous seasons and share the news of the next voting update.

NBA All-Star Voting features the race between two amazing forwards

LeBron James is having yet another fantastic season, and he is very close to passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The four-time MVP has a chance to take the lead before the All-Star break if he maintains his current level of health and production (29.1 points per game). On February 19, 2023, Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City will host the NBA All-Star Game. James is expected to lead the All-Star team for the sixth year in a row after his incredible play this season.

With 50,000 fewer votes than the Lakers forward, Kevin Durant is in second place in the NBA All-Star Voting. KD is having a great season and is very efficient, just like LeBron. Durant was injured on Sunday night and will likely miss some time due to his recovery. The Brooklyn Nets forward is likely to maintain his East lead over Giannis Antetokounmpo despite Kevin Durant’s injury. Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry are the best backcourt players in their respective conferences. Because of the size of their leads, it is highly unlikely that anyone will catch up to them before the polls close.

Previous NBA All-Star Game vote leaders

LeBron James has led the NBA All-Star Voting for the past six seasons. For the 2016 NBA AllStar Game, Kobe Bryant received more fan votes than LeBron James did for the first time in his career. The East’s frontcourt last year was led by Durant, while Steph Curry and DeMar DeRozan topped the voting among guards. In 2021, things were essentially the same except that Bradley Beal was leading the East. The NBA no longer solicits fan votes for the All-Star Game starting lineup. Fans don’t get much of a say in the matter, though; they only cast half of the votes. The other half are cast by players and media members. The next update to the NBA All-Star Voting will be posted on Thursday, January 12th. 

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Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown decided to end their relationship with Kanye West’s Donda Sports



Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown decided to end their relationship with Kanye West’s Donda Sports

The musician is already having issues as a result of Kanye West’s most recent comments. Now, Jaylen Brown (NBA) and Aaron Donald (NFL) have made the decision to sever ties with Donda Sports. Donda Sports, owned by Kanye West, is a marketing firm for all types of celebrities. Naturally, this involves players of all stripes, but the owner’s behavior has not been the finest, and as a result, some of the biggest stars he once had for his business are leaving.

The Rams’ Aaron Donald and the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown have had enough of Kanye West’s recent antics. This October, both athletes took the initiative and cut ties with the marketing firm.

Why did Jaylen Brown and Aaron Donald quit working with Kanye West’s Donda Sports?

Using their social media accounts, Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown announced the dissolution of their partnership with Donda Sports on October 25. Of course, this action caught everyone off guard, but there is a very good reason for it. Kanye West, who has now officially changed his name to Ye, has been tweeting crude and divisive remarks. After tweeting “go death con 3 on Jewish people” on October 9, he was accused of being antisemitic.

In his justification, West claimed that “black people are actually Jews as well.” The problem continued after his account was disabled and the tweet was removed. Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown, who were both clients of Donda Sports, decided they had had enough. They cut ties with West’s organization and accused him of “anti-Semitism and misrepresentation.”

For Ye, this is not his only issue. According to a TMZ report from October 25, Adidas will also be severing its partnership with the rapper as a result of these remarks. The renowned Yeezy shoes were the result of a collaboration between Kanye and the sportswear company, but this will reportedly come to an end and they won’t be producing them any longer.

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