Disastrous week for MPJ: more bad news for the family of Nuggets star after tragedy

Apr 10, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) finishes
Apr 10, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) finishes / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in the NBA season when the playoffs have begun, it feels like the Nuggets have finally gone through the grind and are ready to start the real games. Now the focus shifts to playoff mode, as the team has made it through the regular season unscathed and ready to go on another journey.

In many ways, it seems like the only thing that can derail another long Nuggets playoff run would be an injury. But there is also always the possibility of some type of off-court distraction that could impact the players on the court.

Michael Porter Jr. dealing with distractions

Unfortunately, it seems like the latter concern has become genuinely conceivable in the past few days in relation to Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. What makes the situation even more unfortunate, is the issues don’t seem to actually have anything to do with Michael and it’s all things outside of his control.

First, word came out earlier in the week that as a result of the NBA’s bombshell investigation into suspicious gambling, MPJ’s brother Jontay Porter was being banned for life from the NBA. Jontay was on a two-way deal with the Raptors, but now he will never be a part of the league again. 

I’m sure this is devastating for the Porter family, and as much as MPJ may try to ignore and avoid the topic, that is going to prove to be impossible. Even if Michael knew absolutely nothing about the situation, he is going to have to answer questions and this story is not going away any time soon.

Porter's other brother sentenced to prison

Then to make matters worse, on Friday, Porter’s younger brother Coban was sentenced to six years in prison for a drunk driving crash resulting in death in January of 2023. Coban Porter was a college basketball player for the University of Denver when the tragic crash occurred.

MPJ missed Nuggets practice on Friday to attend and speak at the sentencing on behalf of his brother. It’s been a brutal week for MPJ and his family and he’s seen two awful situations play out with his brothers. It’s hard to imagine these issues aren’t weighing heavily on Michael’s mind and I’m sure focusing on basketball isn’t easy right now.

He has every excuse to be distracted and if it weren’t the playoffs it would be totally reasonable for him to even take some time away from the team. But the fact is, the playoffs are here, and the Nuggets will need Porter Jr. badly, and need him to be at his best. This is one more thing that Denver will have to overcome.