Tearful Nuggets coach Michael Malone reads names of Boulder victims
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was tearful and openly emotional before Tuesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic while talking about the 10 people killed in a grocery store by a gunman Monday in Boulder, Colorado.
Malone named each of the 10 victims of a massacre that took place approximately 28 miles from downtown Denver.
“It seems like we’ve been here before,” Malone said during his pre-game media availability. “Obviously, yesterday was another tragedy. Hopefully it’s something that we can find a way to prevent from happening in the future. And I think I speak for everyone on our team, our travel party, that our thoughts and prayers – which is never enough – but our thoughts and prayers are definitely with the Boulder community and all the families of the 10 innocent people who were murdered yesterday.
“Rikki Olds, Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzanne Fountain, Teri Leiker, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, Jody Waters, and police officer Eric Talley, father of seven kids.”
He dedicated the game to the families dealing with the aftermath.
“I think we’re all tired of it,” Malone said, fighting through tears when pressed on how he processed Monday’s tragedy. “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. … I apologize. … 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. It’s 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. I’m just heartbroken for them and everybody else. Hopefully we as a country, we as a state can find a way to be better.”
He added: “Hopefully the players understand the tragedy that happened and what it means for us because we represent Denver, and Boulder is right there with us.
“We’re still thinking of everybody and hope that Boulder stays strong.”
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr also addressed the recent violence in Boulder and Atlanta before Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kerr sat sternly in front of a black background featuring 18 names representing each of the people lost in mass shootings over the past week.
Before Kerr began to talk basketball, he delivered yet another message about gun violence that hits so close.
“Before we start, you notice the names behind me on the screen there,” Kerr said. “They are names of the victims in both Atlanta and Denver over the last two weeks in the mass shootings that we have suffered. I think it’s first of all important to reference their names. These are human beings. These are people who have been lost, and the thought of the mothers and fathers and sisters, brothers, daughters and sons who are grieving right now with the loss of the people behind me is just devastating, particularly in the wake of what is just a common occurrence in our country and an inability of our representatives and government of doing anything about it.
“I am just sort of at a loss for words at this point. We can’t just sit here and accept that we’re going to allow our fellow citizens to just mow each other down with weapons of war. It’s the most disgusting thing that exists within our country. It’s ridiculous. It’s disgusting. It’s devastating. There are so many people out there who are suffering, we have to do something about it.”
Kerr’s father, Malcolm, was murdered in Beirut while president of American University of Beirut when Kerr was 18 and a college freshman at Arizona.