Just as many NBA players begin to truly lock in and focus on the playoffs, Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. and his family have dealt with a lot over the past several weeks, particularly his brother Coban Porter's prison sentence for a drunk driving car crash that killed a woman last year, as well as his other brother Jontay Porter's lifetime ban from the NBA for gambling.

After the Nuggets' 114-103 Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Porter Jr. spoke publicly about the struggles he has faced off of the court and how his Denver teammates have helped him.

“[I've] definitely tried to compartmentalize some bad and sad stuff happening to a couple of my brothers, but I got 15, 16 more brothers in here, so I knew I had to be here for 'em and come in here and do my job and try to prepare to do it at a high level,” Porter Jr. said. “Each one of 'em texted me separately and just told me they got my back; If I need anything, they got me. A lot of people were reaching out, friends, family. To have these guys understand why I missed practice yesterday and just have my back has been big for me.”

When asked if basketball could serve as a distraction or escape from the unfortunate things happening in his personal life, Porter Jr. gave insight into his mindset and psyche.

“We're humans, so we carry our emotions and the things that go on off the court onto the court,” Porter Jr. said. “But I'm mentally tough, I've been through a lot through my whole career, so it was just another one of those things that I had to try to play through.”

Michael Porter Jr.'s brothers' real-life turmoil

Denver Nuggets player Michael Porter Jr. and his brother and former NBA player Jontay Porter

Coban Porter, the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., was sentenced to six years in prison this week for his involvement in a car crash that killed a woman and injured another passenger in January 2023. Coban Porter, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault, ran a red light while speeding and struck the victims' vehicle. At the time of the crash, Porter's blood alcohol level was .19, more than twice the legal limit. Porter Jr. missed practice in order to attend his brother's sentencing hearing on Friday, a day before the Nuggets' first playoff game. Coban Porter had been a member of the University of Denver's basketball team at the time of the crash.

Jontay Porter, Coban and Michael's brother,has been a major point of focus in the NBA for the last several weeks as well, but for all of the wrong reasons. Jontay Porter, a two-way player who had played 26 games with the Toronto Raptors this season, was officially banned for life from the NBA for gambling on basketball games, including those in which he wagered that the Raptors would lose.

Porter had been at the center of an investigation by the NBA after sportsbooks reported suspicious betting behavior around Porter's player prop bets. The NBA concluded in its investigation that Porter had tipped off known gamblers and disclosed injury information to bet on his player props as a way to win the wager.

Despite the turmoil facing his family, Michael Porter Jr. played well in Game 1 against the Lakers; he had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the Nuggets' victory.