San Antonio Spurs veteran Rudy Gay appeared to take a jab at rookie Michael Porter Jr. after his criticism of Mike Malone’s coaching following Game 4.
One thing the San Antonio Spurs have emphasized throughout the Gregg Popovich era has been the strength of character in its players. As a result, the culture of the organization has had a feeling closer to that of a family than just a team for years.
Of course, not everything is perfect. However the real story played out, the Spurs clearly didn’t make Kawhi Leonard feel comfortable enough to stick it out a couple of years ago. Tony Parker also butted heads often with Coach Pop at the beginning of his career, eventually evolving into the close bond it became over the years.
No matter what drama might be unfolding within the Spurs, however, they have always made it a priority to keep that behind closed doors. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for 22-year-old Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. After a frustrating Game 4 loss to go down 3-1 to the LA Clippers, Porter appeared to take some shots at the coaching strategies of Mike Malone.
“To beat that team, we've gotta get more players involved.”
MPJ on wanting to get more involved on offense after Game 4 loss pic.twitter.com/iI7qRIHAeC
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2020
“It’s up to the play calling and the coaches whose hands they want to put the ball into. We kept going to Jokic and Jamal,” said Porter. “They’re two amazing players, but I just think to beat that team, we’ve gotta get more players involved, move the ball a little bit better. We can’t be predictable against that team.”
When asked if he should be voicing those concerns as a rookie, Porter continued: “I think if I’m going to be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I should voice that. I’ll probably talk to the coaches.”
Porter’s last sentence sums up how MPJ should’ve approached the situation in the first place. Being frustrated in a postgame interview after a loss is natural, but he doesn’t do himself or the team any favors by calling out coaching strategies to the world. Wednesday morning, Rudy Gay appeared to take notice of Porter’s comments, turning to Twitter.
What’s the debate? Imagine someone with no experience telling you what to do on your job
— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) September 10, 2020
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Gay has logged over 31,000 minutes in his 14-year career, so it’s not like his comments are coming out of nowhere. Having played for four different organizations, I’m sure he’s learned a thing or two about how some things are better left unsaid.
Hearing Porter put his foot in his mouth is not something new, though. In a Snapchat Q & A over the summer, he claimed that the coronavirus was being used for a bigger agenda and that it was “being used for population control in terms of being able to control the masses of people.”
He also claimed on the same stream that he’s never been vaccinated in his life, which Yahoo writer Ryan Young argued is “almost certainly not true.” Michael Porter Jr. may have a wealth of talent on the court, but his off-court behavior has put him in the national spotlight too often for the wrong reasons.
If he ever made comments like these to Coach Popovich, he would already be packing his bags.