Michael Malone criticized the NBA for now allowing coaches to bring family members onto the campus in Orlando.
"First, I'm going to say something that has nothing to do with your question," he said. "Today is Day 60. All right? The guys that came down here on July 7 -- and there weren't many of us because we were ravaged with COVID -- this is the original crew. This is day No. 60. The reason why I bring that up is because the players have their families here, which they deserve, which is the right thing to do. The referees are allowed to bring one guest, which is great for the referees. The coaches, the coaches are not allowed to bring anybody."
If the Denver Nuggets made it to the NBA Finals, it would be more than 90 days without seeing family for coaches.
"I say, 'Shame on you, NBA,'" said Malone, who is married and has two daughters. "This is crazy. I miss my family. And I think I speak for me, I speak for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here. Sixty days and not having access and being granted the privilege to have my family come here, to me, is criminal in nature, and that shouldn't be at all. So I wanted to get that off my chest."
The NBA responded to Malone's criticism with a statement.
"Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, limiting the number of people on campus was always a top priority," a league spokesperson said in a statement Friday. "We agreed that players could bring in a limited number of family and close relations beginning with the second round of the playoffs.
"No other team or league staff, including coaches and referees, has guests on campus. We are hoping to add additional family members for other participants beginning with the Conference Finals. We are mindful of the incredible hardship these restrictions impose and wish it were not necessary for the health and safety of everyone involved."