By Romi Bean

DENVER (CBS4) – When the NBA season resumes later this month in Orlando, the Denver Nuggets will be focused on so much more than just playing basketball.

“Obviously safety – we all understand what the country is going through with coronavirus. And just as important, keeping the conversation on racial justice and how we can improve things not only in Denver but also around the world,” head coach Michael Malone said.

Malone isn’t just game planning for a championship. This year, he’s also tasked with leading his players through uncharted waters.

“The toughest part about this is that there is no playbook. There’s no one I can call up who has gone through what we are about to go through. We are going to learn as we go,” Malone said.

Obviously everyone is looking forward to being back on the hardwood, but at the same time, it’s going to be harder than ever to just play the game.

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“I’m not worried about what the first practice is going to look like. I’m more worried about how I can keep the group together and how I can keep a very positive, fun atmosphere. Because this will be challenge for all of us,” Malone said.

This year, the last team standing will be champions unlike any other.

“If you’re able to go into a bubble, to be isolated from your friends and family, to have no home-court advantage, to have a league interruption of four months, and you’re able to come out a champion – I think this will be the toughest championship ever won,” Malone said. “It will be a remarkable accomplishment and true test of both mental and physical fortitude.”

Romi Bean

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