Video: Mike Malone’s speech for Nikola Jokic’s MVP season gets interrupted by Gregg Popovich
That, of course, is enough to get Nuggets coach, Mike Malone, to go on a quick rant about his versatile center getting left out, via Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.
“[Nikola Jokic is] not in the MVP conversation, but if you look at his numbers, [he should be]. He’s one of the best all-around players in the game – not young players, not big guys, not small guys – he’s one best NBA players in the NBA right now. He’s proving it against the best teams [and] best players every single night. At some point [he and our team], will get the respect [we] deserve, ‘cause right now, we’re not getting it.”
Their Friday night opponents’ coach in the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich probably thought things were getting too intense for an interview, so he jokingly interjected in a very Pop way. As Malone ended his “campaign” for Jokic, Pop was heard yelling out “Bull—-!” while walking past the interview circle.
The Nuggets won the contest 122-119, with Jokic providing another statement game. He registered 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists for his third-straight triple-double and sixth overall this season. Keep in mind that he was fresh-off achieving a similar feat after just 14 minutes and 33 seconds of play — the fastest in NBA history.
Too intense or not, Malone is right: the Nuggets deserve more buzz than what they are getting. With a do-it-all center, an array of shooters, and a fast-paced offensive attack, they are a good dark horse pick in the mighty Western Conference.
Denver is 33-26 and sixth in the West while ranking eighth in scoring and sixth in Basketball-Reference’s offensive rating.