The Denver-LA beef continues to escalate, with Mike Malone responding to Lakers players speaking their minds about the Nuggets.
“I can’t speak for anybody in LA,” Malone said in response to a question asked by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I can speak for the 17 players on our team – 18 players now – and our group. But, if they’re still worried about us, that’s on them. This is a new season, new challenge, and it was hell of a series against them. I know it was a 4-0 sweep, but all of those games seemed like they went down to the wire.
“As I said after that Game 4, we have tremendous respect for that team. I have tremendous respect for Darvin Ham as a coach and the job that he did. I don’t listen to any of that stuff. I don’t know what they’re saying. And if we’re on their minds, then I guess that’s on them.”
Most notably, Anthony Davis had this to say about Denver:
“It’s very motivational,” he said. “I mean, obviously KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] is my guy so you kind of congratulate him, like ‘you got this one.’ But it was just a lot of like, the talking, and ‘the Lakers dad.’
“There was just so much of that going on; it was like ‘All right, we get it, y’all won.’ But me and Bron had some conversations like, ‘We can’t wait.’”
Davis and James won’t have to wait long to face their Western Conference rivals. The Lakers will face the Nuggets in Denver to open their season on October 24.