Nuggets' Malone slams 'crazy' NBA bubble ban on coaches' families


Miami (AFP)

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone slammed the NBA on Friday for its ban on coaches' family members, even as players were allowed to welcome a few friends and relatives into the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

"This is day number 60," Malone said at a Friday media availability of the time he and the Nuggets have spent so far on the NBA's campus at Disney World

Through seeding games and the first round of the playoffs no guests were allowed, but players whose teams advanced to the second round were able to bring in a limited number of family members or close friends.

Game officials were allowed to invite one guest, but coaches remain on their own.

"I say shame on you NBA," added Malone, who is married with two daughters.

"This is crazy. I miss my family. I think I speak for me. I speak for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here. Sixty days and not having access and not being granted the privilege to have my family come here to me is criminal in nature."

NBA superstar LeBron James weighed in backing Malone on social media, in a replay to a tweet from Los Angeles Lakers teammate Jarde Dudley.

"Wow, I didn't even know that," James said after Dudley posted a link to an article featuring Malone's comments. "Coach Mo is absolutely right! That's ridiculous."

The Nuggets battled their way into the second round, winning the last three games in a 4-3 series victory over the Utah Jazz.

A weary-looking Denver team were blown out 120-97 by the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening game of their Western Conference semi-final series on Thursday.

Malone said his players would need to show more energy, and urgency, on both ends of the court to challenge the clippers.

"It was like layup lines out there at times," Malone said of his team's ineffective defense.

As for offense, he said, as the game wore on "we just came down and jacked quick shots ... instead of moving the ball, moving bodies.

"You just can't come down and run random offense and jack up shots."