Michael Porter Jr. Grateful for Team Support Following Brother's Sentencing

Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. faces family crisis amid playoffs.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Michael Porter Jr. Grateful for Team Support Following Brother's Sentencing
© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In a poignant display of solidarity, Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has found unwavering support from his teammates amid personal family turmoil. Recently, his younger brother, Coban Porter, was sentenced to six years in prison following a fatal drunk driving incident in Colorado last year that resulted in the death of a woman.

The verdict was delivered just days after another distressing event for the Porter family, as Jontay Porter, another of Michael's brothers, faced a ban from the NBA due to a betting scandal. Speaking candidly after the Nuggets clinched a 1-0 lead in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Porter Jr.

reflected on the emotional weight of his family's predicaments. "Definitely tried to compartmentalize, some bad and sad stuff happened to a couple of my brothers. But I got, you know, 15, 16 more brothers in here, so I knew I had to be here for them and come in here and do my job and try to prepare to do it at a high level," he said.

Porter's Court Testimony

The gravity of the situation extended to Porter missing a Nuggets practice to testify on his brother Coban's behalf. Coban had earlier admitted to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, agreeing to a plea deal in February.

During the sentencing, it was revealed that he was significantly over the legal alcohol limit and speeding at the time of the accident. Despite these challenges, the support from Porter Jr.' s teammates has been a cornerstone of his resilience.

Each player reached out to him, reinforcing their support and understanding of his absence from practice. "To have these guys understand why I missed practice yesterday and just had my back has been big for me," Porter shared.

On the court, Porter Jr. continued to perform impressively, contributing significantly to the Nuggets' 114-103 victory over the Lakers with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets star and teammate, spoke about the therapeutic nature of basketball amidst personal challenges.

"It's a hard thing to do, but I think when you're on the court, you don't think about it. That's why basketball is such a beautiful thing, that you don't think about nothing except what's going on on the floor," Jokic commented.

Since being drafted by the Nuggets in 2018, Porter Jr.' s career has been marred by injuries, including a significant back injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2021-22 season. Yet, his recent performance marks a triumphant return, having played in a career-high 81 games this season.

Reflecting on his journey and the current situation, Porter acknowledged, "We're human. We carry our emotions and things that go on off of the court onto the court, but I'm mentally tough. I've been through a lot through my whole career, so you know it was another one of those things I had to play through."