Did the Nuggets Give Over $200 Million to a Selfish, Misguided Headcase?
Michael Porter Jr. can shoot that rock. No doubt. But he can be rock-headed and stubborn, where it is detrimental to Denver’s pursuit of the championship.
As the Nuggets opened training camp in San Diego, Porter told The Denver Post that although 90% of the league’s players have been vaccinated for COVID-19, he doesn’t want the shot and is interested in the idea of a league mandate to vaccinate. strongly oppose.
“I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are low, with the vaccine you could react poorly to it. For me, I don’t feel comfortable with vaccines,” Porter said on Wednesday during an interview with his colleague Mike Singer.
I would defend MPJ’s right to be a rebel who doubts science and places personal liberties over team success, not to mention the health of Nuggets players and staff.
But I’m far less certain that the Nuggets should be rewarded with Porter’s self-centered folly with a freshly printed max contract that could be worth $207 million. This is of serious origin for a player who would prefer to skip a Denver game in San Francisco, New York, or any other city that has been vaccinated to go to court instead of rolling up his sleeves and taking a shot in the arm for the team. may be required. .
Joining the fight against a pandemic that may have killed more than 700,000 Americans, Porter has no worries. It is also a personal preference. The coronavirus isn’t smart, but it’s a relentlessly ornate foe that requires teamwork to defeat, which is why everyone from a kindergarten teacher or an NBA star who gets a vaccine plays a key role in the pursuit of victory. This is a simple game concept.
However, putting the team before himself is a concept that young Mr. Porter has struggled to grasp as the Nuggets took a chance on a highly talented prospect with chronic back issues over MPJ in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Could MPJ’s selfish tendencies be causing trust issues within the team? Don’t take my word for it. Nuggets coach Michael Malone admitted last week during a podcast with The Post.
“Michael Porter was the No. 1 player in his class coming out of high school. He was always NS People. We drafted him, he fell to us at (number) 14 due to concerns about his health and back. It was great for us. But you can tell when he came in he was a little Me People.” Malone said when I asked him about the challenges of building a relationship with a player whose identity is built on scoring a basketball.
“He realized quickly, when he sat out his first year: ‘Man, I’m on a really good team. I’m no longer the best guy at the gym every day.’ I give so much credit to Michael Porter, because he was ready to change, grow and mature.”
MPJs’ maturation process, such as honing their ballhandling skills or their commitment to defense, is a work in progress. No one, least of me, expects Porter to be a fully formed player or man at 23.
From the moment Porter arrived in Denver, I’ve been an unattainable booster of the 6-foot-10 forward, whose jumper is so pure and unstoppable, his offensive prowess that compared Kevin Durant to team personnel, even before the MPJ donned the Nuggets uniform. I played for a minute. .
More than Porter’s average of 19 points in the previous season, it was the robotic prowess with which he encouraged President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly to grant maximum contract extensions to a player who missed 111 of 227 regular-season games in three has gone. pro season. Betting on MPJ’s long-term health as a trusted member of the Championship Corps is a calculated gamble, a far more costly risk than getting a COVID-19 shot.
If NBA coaches, referees and everyone who interact with players are required to be vaccinated, Andrew Wiggins, Bradley Beale and MPJ may refuse to take every precaution to keep themselves and those around them safe , perhaps the tendency of the league to have a set of looser rules for the stars and more stringent rules for everyone else has reached the point of arrogant authority.
“I don’t know what’s going on in my body with the shot, so if I already know how I’m going to react to COVID, I feel like, for me, I risk doing something like Don’t want to pick up something that might affect me negatively in my body,” Porter said.
With guard Jamal Murray out indefinitely during knee injury rehabilitation, the Nuggets are relying on Porter more than ever. But he is willing to take the risk of negatively affecting his peers in the name of personal freedom.
Knucklehead is the same as Knucklehead does. MPJ is a rebel who has no clue.