For understandable reasons, very few people in Colorado have basketball at the front of their minds. That includes the head coach of the state's NBA team.
Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone spoke to reporters on Tuesday, a day after the mass shooting in a Boulder supermarket that killed 10. Before addressing the team's game against the Orlando Magic that day, Malone commented on the senselessness of the massacre and expressed his thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims while naming each of them.
Malone had to pause multiple times due to the emotions of the moment.
His initial comments:
It seems like we've been here before, but before we get into tonight's game and to basketball, I think it's really important we turn our attention where it should be, and that's back in Boulder. Obviously, yesterday was another tragedy. Hopefully, it's something we can find a way to prevent from happening in the future. I think I speak for everyone on our team, our travel party, that our thoughts and prayers — which is never enough — are definitely with the Boulder community and all the families of the 10 innocent people who were murdered yesterday.
Rikki Olds, Denny Strong, Neven Stanisic, Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzanne Fountain, Teri Leiker, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, Jodi Waters and police officer Eric Talley, father of seven kids.
We keep all of them in our thoughts and prayers.
When asked a follow-up question about the shooting, Malone expressed hope changes can be made to prevent a repeat of the events:
I can't speak for each of our players, Mike. I think we all handle things differently. Obviously, I think we're all tired of it. That's an understatement. I know, for me, you get so caught up in the job and basketball ... We get judged on wins and losses, but if you take a step back and you put yourself in one of those families, what do you feel?
This is a game, a game I love, I have a passion for, but I think about Eric Talley and his seven kids. That's what I think about, and I'm just heartbroken for them and everybody else, and hopefully we as a country, we as a state, can find a way to be better.
Malone has been the head coach in Colorado since 2015, holding a record of 443-244 in his tenure. This is the second mass shooting to occur in the state during that time.
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