Less than 48 hours after calling out the veteran leadership of his Denver Nuggets team head coach Michael Malone issued an apology to his players.
After the team’s poor effort in their loss against the Sacramento Kings Tuesday, coach Malone voiced his frustration with his veterans, saying that the Nuggets have “no veteran leadership” and that “we need some leadership to shine and step up when we are struggling which we are.”
Malone’s comments stirred the pot in Nuggets land, with fuel being added to that fire when seven-year veteran Danilo Gallinari objected to his coach’s words about veterans slacking, saying “I don’t agree with that. That’s definitely not the problem.”
The verbal exchange left a lot of confusion and uncertainty in the realm of Nuggets basketball; however, coach Malone addressed the issue, stating an apology to his team.
“I apologized to our veterans,” Malone said during his pregame media scrum Thursday. “Anything that is going on within our locker room should be left in the locker room. I failed in that regard. I let my frustrations after that loss get the best of me. If I have issues with our veterans, I will address it with our veterans one-on-one to try and resolve whatever issues there may be. That’s all I want to say on that matter. I owned up to them, just like I expect them to keep all of our stuff in house. Me as the head coach, I have to do the same thing and I didn’t do that the other night and I apologized to them for that.”
“We have a great group of guys, and I’ve talked to guys one-on-one,” Malone acknowledged. “I just feel, so many young players on this team and I want to make sure our young guys are staying positive, staying in the right direction and we do have good leadership. Obviously, last game, I was frustrated with that, but as I mentioned, that shouldn’t have come out after the game in the media. But I think our locker room is tied together and I expect us to come out and play with great energy and effort tonight.”
The loss to the Kings could certainly be considered a low point in what has been a disappointing Nuggets season so far. They are currently losers of three straight with the worst defense in the league, and with no real positives stemming from the last three games it seems like coach Malone’s fuse blew.
Regardless, Malone apologized and claims there will be no ripple effect from his comments which is critical if the Nuggets plan to salvage what is left of this dismal season.