clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is LeBron James the John Elway of the NBA?

Some have compared James taking this current Cavaliers team to the Finals to Elway taking the Broncos teams of the 1980s to three Super Bowls. It’s an interesting topic of discussion.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

The MHR Radio Podcast is now on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and TuneIn. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.

What John Elway accomplished in the 1980s remains remarkable.

To take those Denver Broncos teams to three Super Bowls in four seasons is one of the best feats in NFL history. If you consider what Jim Kelly did in leading the Buffalo Bills to four-straight Super Bowls the greatest, in my mind what Elway did is just as impressive. When you consider the makeup of the respective teams, one could say what Elway pulled is more impressive.

Perhaps the best comparison to today is LeBron James, and especially this version of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The comparison comes not from the style of play but dragging teams to the pinnacle games of their sport that probably had no business being there. Others have seen the connection to James and Elway, but I wanted to get the thoughts of Adam Malnati. So on the latest MHR Radio Podcast, I asked Adam if James is the Elway of the NBA.

I also took it a step further. If Elway had won any of those three Super Bowls, is he the unquestioned greatest of all time? Some in Broncos Country believe he already is, Adam is one of them, but does it change the current debate of quarterbacks who are included? The aspect that connects all of this, more so than James and Elway, is the teams they faced in the respective championships. It helps two are from the Bay Area.

If James beats the Golden State Warriors, some will say he is the greatest player in NBA history. Some already do. Had Elway defeated the San Francisco 49ers in that Super Bowl in New Orleans that Denver fans don’t talk about, Elway would have to be the GOAT, right? Both the Warriors and 49ers are incredible teams loaded with talent. Offensively, they are near impossible to stop. Alas, Elway and the Broncos didn’t make it happen, but it’s still a fun conversation. What do you think, Broncos fans?

Adam and I also discuss the developments in Denver’s ownership and DeMarcus Ware serving as a guest coach/observer in the second week of OTAs.

The MHR Radio Podcast is now on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and TuneIn. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.

Broncos Tracks

Sacco Sez: The Broncos' 'mistaken identity' running backs
The Broncos once had a pair of running backs with nearly identical last names and uniform numbers just one digit off, making for a confusing situation for fans, Jim Saccomano writes.

John Elway dishes on his golf game, favorite golfers after Colorado Senior Open
John Elway's golf dream? A round at Augusta with Tiger Woods.

Von Miller's new job: mentoring first-round pick Bradley Chubb - Denver Broncos- ESPN
After being mentored by DeMarcus Ware, Miller wants to pay it forward and lead the Broncos. He's starting with his new defensive line teammate.

Former Colorado State QB Nick Stevens is Denver Broncos' Plan D, for now
Former Colorado State University quarterback Nick Stevens is behind Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly on Denver Broncos' depth chart. | Elway tweets strong support of Joe Ellis and Trust's succession plan
John Elway sent his strong support to Broncos' president Joe Ellis and the Pat Bowlen Trust as a whole. | A closer look at whether Beth Bowlen Wallace has met Pat Bowlen Trust criteria
Things aren't as black-and-white as they seem.

Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas bulks up; Von Miller keeps it real - Denver7
Demaryius Thomas eyes a bounce-back season. Von Miller tempers expectations.

NFL win total projections for all 32 teams in 2018
The Broncos are projected to get 6.9 wins.

NFL Tracks

The Five NFL Players Who Really Need a Bounce-Back Year - The Ringer
Young guys reign supreme in football, so a handful of veterans who have underperformed in recent years need a renaissance in the biggest way

Matt Forte Looks Back on 10 Years in the NFL |
The longtime NFL workhorse reflects on the value of the multidimensional back, and the state of the game as he leaves it

Chargers GM: 'We'll see' if Antonio Gates will return -
The concept of Antonio Gates returning to the Chargers is picking up steam. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers wants the veteran tight end back on the roster -- and he might not be alone.

NFL rule change to kickoffs has coaches rethinking approach
As special teams coaches reinvent their kickoff approach, they're also making sure the NFL doesn't try to do away with the play altogether.

David Tepper is buying the Carolina Panthers. He’s nothing like an NFL owner. - The Washington Post
Outspoken and unpolished, billionaire hedge fund manager may be a jolt to an exclusive, buttoned-up club.

Five More Former N.F.L. Cheerleaders File Suit, Claiming Mistreatment - The New York Times
The lawsuit was filed against the Houston Texans, who were already being sued by another ex-cheerleader in a case that may become a class action.

Dez Bryant not expected to sign before late July -
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that free-agent receiver Dez Bryant is not expected to sign until at least the opening of training camps in late July.

Johnny Manziel's road to CFL stardom and path back to NFL won't be easy
Finding success in Canada is Manziel's best chance at an NFL return. Can he do it? Here's why the transition will be more difficult than you think.

Delanie Walker: 'I'm the best tight end in the league' -
There are those who peaked in high school, and there are those who bloomed later in life. Delanie Walker is the latter, and he's looking to reach peak blossom in his age-34 season.

Daily Dose: Rams As Next NFL Dynasty? Storylines and Players that will Define 2018
All the latest headlines surrounding the Los Angeles Rams for Friday, June 1.