Denver Nuggets head coach, Michael Malone, joined Scott Hastings and Tom Helmer this morning to talk about his second season in Denver and the promise of this young team. Among the many interesting notes, Malone is going hunting in Sombor this weekend with the Nikola Jokic and his brothers.
I’m actually going to Sombor, Serbia, his hometown. I’m going there on Saturday. I’m gonna go spend some time up in Serbia... gonna hang out with Nikola, his brothers, go hunting, he has his own racehorse. He wants me to see his horse race. I can’t wait Sombor, Serbia and spend time with his family.
I’m nervous about the hunting because I have a feeling I might be the guy they’re hunting.
This isn’t the first time that Malone has made the trek to southern Europe. last year Malone made a trip to Bosnia in an effort to reconnect with Jusuf Nurkic. That trip went really well and Nurkic returned to training camp in the best shape of his life. That relationship stumbled later on in the season before Nurkic was traded in February.
Malone also shared his goals for Jokic this summer.
When the season ended and I met with him one on one and then I talked with his brothers after that because his brothers do a great job of keeping Nikola in check and they care about him. And they want him to be the best player he can be. But I told Nikola two things you have to work on this summer, ‘your body, you have to get stronger and be able to withstand some of the more physical players in the NBA.’ And I said ‘most importantly, you have to control your emotions.’ I said ‘you’re a baby. When things don’t go your way you get a silly foul, you get a silly technical foul, or you take a bad shot.’
Check out the full excerpt from the interview below.