Denver Nuggets rising star Michael Porter Jr. has proven himself to be an elite scorer on the court. However, he wants everybody to know he’s more than just that.
He wants his voice to be heard. He wants people to converse and talk about topics they often avoid. That is why he started his “Curious Mike” show, giving him and others a platform where they won’t be judged or their words misconstrued unlike other social media platforms.
In a wide-ranging interview with ClutchPoints, Porter discussed his inspiration to start his own show, getting his brain scanned, mental health, working out with Stephen Curry and trying to get him on “Curious Mike,” and even his relationship with Nuggets teammate and reigning NBA MVP Nikola.
Michael Porter Jr. Gets Curious In “Curious Mike”
As an athlete playing at the highest level, Porter knows how some stay out of politics and topics they are uncomfortable with. He understands the sentiment, which is why he is “trying to create a space where you can talk about those things without necessarily being judged.”
“My inspiration really just came from wanting to not only inspire people but just have a voice myself to help create positive change and be an influence in culture not just as a basketball player,” Porter Jr. said in an exclusive interview last week.
Mental health has been a key topic as of late, with several high-profile athletes like USA gymnasts Simone Biles and Japanese Tennis star Naomi Osaka opening up about their struggles. Osaka, for her part, even said that she no longer feels happy when she wins.
Porter sees his show becoming an avenue where athletes can talk about the real stuff without hiding anything and show that there’s more to them than meets the eye. In the first season of “Curious Mike,” he did just that when he interviewed his draft classmate and longtime friend Trae Young about their time in the AAU circuit, as well as with his Aunt Nancy where he discussed chasing joy–something that athletes rarely talk about or even open up.
“Like I said, I just kinda want people to see that there’s more than meets the eye to athletes. There is so much going around the world right now. Like you just said, there’s a lot of athletes coming out and saying they are not necessarily happy and are going through a lot. That’s real stuff. I just want to create something where you can have conversations,” the Nuggets youngster added.
“I think people with a lot of influence sometimes don’t like to talk about things like that because they might be put down or crucified on social media, whatever it is. I just want to do something that breaks those boundaries a little bit.”
Brandon Roy Opens Up, Stephen Curry Next?
“Curious Mike” is heading to its Season 2 after its four-episode Season 1. The first episode of its latest installation launches on Tuesday, September 21, and apparently fans will get to see Brandon Roy open up to Porter.
During the interview, Porter refused to name the player he interviewed that really made a significant impact on him, just saying that “one of the most memorable moments would be bringing to light someone who was largely forgotten about–went through some injuries and stuff throughout his career in the NBA.”
In a recent teaser on Instagram, though, the Nuggets forward posted a teaser of his talk with the former Portland Trail Blazers guard. Roy was Porter’s high school basketball coach in his senior year in Nathan Hale.
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Aside from Roy, though, Michael Porter Jr. is also hopeful to get Stephen Curry to the show. Like MPJ, Steph is a man of family, faith and basketball–three things that the two can certainly talk about.
The Nuggets scorer recently worked out with Steph in San Francisco, during which they also discussed about “Curious Mike” while they both listened to Lecrae’s songs. Lecrae was one of Porter’s guests in the first season of his interview-style podcast. To his surprise, Curry watched that episode with the Christian hip hop artist and called it “dope.”
“I went out to San Fran and worked out with Steph for four or five days. It was just great getting on the floor with him. I’ve been cool with Steph for a while ever since my high school days—[attending] one of his camps—so getting back with him and getting to the gym was awesome,” Porter said.
He continued: “We’re hoping to get Steph on there Curious Mike]. We haven’t done the interview yet, [but] he’s want’s to be on there so we’re hoping to get that one down sooner rather than later.”
Michael Porter Jr. Gets Real On Getting His Brain Scanned!
Porter’s guests in the show are not just athletes, though. He teased that fans “can expect the variety of different guests” since he won’t necessarily “stick to athletes or some type of person” as seen in the first season.
One of his more prominent non-athlete guests is celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen. Talking about the interview with the famed medical expert, MPJ shared he got his brain scanned–which was an interesting experience for him as he learned the importance of taking care of the brain for mental and physical health.
He called the talk the “most beneficial” to him among all the ones he did before. As for the one tip from Dr. Amen that he can share to really take care of our mental health, Porter kept it simple: sleep.
“One piece of advise would be get seven to eight hours of sleep every night because it’s gonna help you age well, function well throughout the day, get your best work done. I think a lot of people are workaholics, so they do not get as much sleep as they should. But I actually think that if you prioritize sleep, your work would end up being more productive and creative,” he said.
Will Nuggets Star And NBA MVP Nikola Jokic Be On His Show?
Michael Porter Jr. sees himself continuing “Curious Mike” beyond Season 2. In fact, he wants to keep it going even after his basketball career is over.
With that said, it is a possibility people will get to see Nikola appear on the show. While it’s unlikely it would happen in Season 2, as Porter admits he hasn’t bring it up to him yet and he’s uncertain if he knows about it since the Serbian is not on social, he admitted how awesome it would be to show the other side of his Nuggets teammate.
“Definitely Nikola is a unique dude that I really respect. [I] would love to have him in the show. I got to bring it up to him still. I don’t even know if he knows about it because he’s not on social media or anything. People can learn a lot from that dude: he’s the MVP but he doesn’t really carry himself like he thinks he’s a superstar—he’s just a regular guy.
“I respect his consistency on and off the court and who he is. He’s a funny guy, so I’m hoping to get him on there so that people can see a different side of Joker, too.”
Porter Jr. is undoubtedly diving into unfamiliar grounds with his latest project, but it’s quite clear he’s enjoying himself. His sister, Cierra Porter, saw it as well and she’s confident Michael will be able to thrive with it.
“I think he’s just someone who’s such a light in this world and so gifted. He hasn’t had any training when it come to interviewing, and it’s something that comes so naturally to him,” Cierra said in the same exclusive interview.
“I think he’s someone people are going to recognize .. very smart, very willing to learn. Someone that people are going to look up to on how he views life.”
“Curious Mike” has already filmed two episodes and their team hopes to finish the four-episode season before the 2021-22 NBA campaign starts. After the September 21 release of the first episode, MPJ and Co. plan to release the others every week.