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Nuggets coach Michael Malone: I let frustration get the best of me

(Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggetscoach Michael Malone apologized to his veteran players for calling them out for a lack of leadership following a loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

"The only thing I'll say regarding that -- and I apologize to our veterans -- anything that's going on in our locker room should be left in the locker room," he said prior to the Nuggets' 127-99 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night. "So I failed in that regard the other night. I let my frustrations after that loss get the best of me.

"If I have issues with our veterans, I'll address it with our veterans one-on-one to try and resolve whatever issues there may be.''

Malone called the Nuggets' defense "a joke right now" after Tuesday's 120-113 loss to the Kings.

"No veteran leadership stepping up, don't hear anyone speaking, taking the lead," Malone said Tuesday. "We have two young guys trying to speak up on the team, which you applaud, but you need some leadership to shine and step up."

Malone doesn't believe there's any lingering animosity following those comments.

"We have a great group of guys," Malone said Thursday. "I've talked to guys one-on-one. We have so many young players on this team -- I want to make sure our young guys are staying positive, staying in the right direction. And we do have good leadership. Last game I was frustrated with that, but as I mentioned, that shouldn't have come out in the media. I think our locker room is tied together."

With Thursday's loss to the Spurs, the Nuggets have dropped four straight.

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