Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. reacts to backlash from controversial Game 4 rant
Following the Denver Nuggets’ mighty 111-105 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 on Friday, a humbled Michael Porter Jr. addressed the backlash from his earlier comments. The 22-year-old rookie irked both fans and fellow players alike, following his post-game rant in the aftermath of the Nuggets’ Game 4 defeat.
The 6-foot-10 forward complained about his lack of touches in the closing minutes of the ball game and even questioned head coach Mike Malone’s decision making down the stretch. Porter’s spirited comments rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and even earned the ire of Portland Trailblazers superstar Damian Lillard.
Michael Porter Jr. apologized for his mini-outburst and explained that he meant no disrespect to the veterans of his team.
"You want to listen, you don't want to have an ego and think you're always right."
Michael Porter Jr. addresses the comments he made after Game 4. pic.twitter.com/aC1go3cKcT
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 12, 2020
He also appreciated Damian Lillard and the other superstars’ input and took it under advisement.
Michael Porter Jr. said he didn’t mean to disrespect his teammates or coaches by saying they needed to involve more players after Game 4. He also mentioned he saw Dame Lillard’s constructive feedback: “I respect all those guys. You want to listen. You don’t want to have an ego.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) September 12, 2020
As promising as he has been inside the bubble in Orlando, Florida, Porter is still a first-year player in a championship-contending team. The bulk of Denver’s offense will still go through their All-Star center Nikola Jokic and their scoring savant Jamal Murray. Porter’s frustrations do seem to come from his desire to compete, but he should have handled it internally with his coaches and teammates.
While he did receive a lot of hate online following his controversial remarks, it didn’t seem to bother Porter that much in the pivotal Game 5. Nuggets head coach Mike Malone kept the rookie in the game in crunch time and he delivered big time. Porter Jr. let his game do the talking, completing two crucial plays on both ends of the floor to help Denver complete the comeback win.
Porter drained a 3-pointer in the dying minutes of the game. He also rejected Clippers’ center Ivica Zubac’s dunk attempt in the following possession. The former Missouri Tiger finished with seven points, five rebounds, one assist, and one block in 22 minutes of action.