The Denver Nuggets blew a 25-point lead against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday evening and lost, 87-85. After the game, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone seemingly expressed discontent with the way he recoils from that type of loss versus the way he perceives players around the league do.
“Losses like this keep me awake for weeks,” Malone said. “I think today’s NBA player, they’re worrying about where they’re going out tonight.
“I can’t speak to that, you know? I wasn’t in there hanging out with them after I spoke to them briefly.”
Michael Malone after Nuggets blow 25-point lead in 87-85 loss to Clippers in LA: “Losses like this keep me awake for weeks. I think today’s NBA player, they’re worrying about where they’re going out tonight.” pic.twitter.com/qRbyfHJVHP
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) January 12, 2022
Of course, the idea that players enjoying a night life and activities away from the game is some sort of new detrimental trend is faulty. For decades, players have publicly and privately enjoyed themselves off the court. That’s not a new concept, nor is it likely the reason his team surrendered a 25-point lead.
Besides, at its core, the NBA remains an occupation for these players, just like any other job. There are obvious aspects that distinguish being a professional athlete from most other jobs. But living and cultivating a life outside of the sport is both entirely reasonable and healthy for everyone. The implication from Malone that it’s an issue tainting the league feels off-base.