“Be Like Mike” was a long-running Nike campaign centered on NBA superstar Michael Jordan. It’s safe to assume that current Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was adamantly opposed to that direction.

Saturday night, the Nuggets were taking on the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Playoffs and ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth interviewed Malone before the start of the fourth quarter. At the time, the Nuggets trailed and it’s understandable that the coach wasn’t super-excited about having to do an interview while he could be game-planning. Perhaps that agitation was what led him to immediately correct Hubbarth when she referred to him as Mike Malone.

Hubbarth was all-pro in her response, offering apologies and telling Malone that she will “get that right here in the playoffs” before launching back into her question.

Hubbarth also took to Twitter after the game to offer up another apology on the call.

There seemed to be two competing reactions to the moment. On one hand, that if we assume Michael Malone doesn’t like being called Mike and it’s been a thorn in his side for some reason, then he has the right to correct someone when they refer to him as such.

On the other hand, it was a fairly benign thing that could have been corrected after the fact and it was kinda rude because no malice was intended.


There’s also the subtext at play of a man correcting a woman that exists whether that was intentional or not.  Some also pointed out that Malone sure didn’t seem to feel the need to correct Gregg Popovich when he referred to him as “Mikey.”

The problem now for Malone is that he’s made it clear that he dislikes being called Mike Malone. And you can be sure that Portland fans are well aware of that fact thanks to him, especially after winning Game 1.


Sorry, Michael.

[The Big Lead]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.