The Denver Nuggets began their Sunday morning with practice to fine tune themselves for the coming NBA season. The same goes for the media.
While waiting for the the doors to open, though, media members were greeted with a series of energetic screams from within the confines of the Nuggets’ practice court.
Those screams were coming from Nuggets guard Will Barton and rookie Malik Beasley.
Although they sounded heated behind closed doors, the screams were good natured, spurred by the ever-energetic Barton.
“He was talking (trash) a little bit,” Barton said of Beasley with a chuckle. “I started it with him, sometimes you got to do things like that to get practice going.”
Barton is a high-flying guard that soared last season, his first full season with the Nuggets, averaging 14.4 points per game and putting his name in the middle of Sixth Man of the Year discussions.
A big part of Barton’s success has come from his ability to simply bring energy, whether it be during practice, shootaround or a game; he never turns off.
“Will has taken on more of a leadership role,” head coach Michael Malone said in reference to Barton’s display of emotion towards the youngsters. “I think it’s a good sign for this team because they genuinely care about each other.”
Barton later explained that he was using some of the same tactics that were used on him when he was a rookie with the Portland Trail Blazers, and he believes it’s his responsibility to pass it on.
“I got to teach them how to play, how to have energy, how to work hard, and how to play hard,” he said.
Barton is a fan favorite, but he’s also a team favorite. He’s an on-court success, but also an off-the-court success. In 2016, he’ll be looking to build off his surprise campaign from last season.
“Will Barton has been terrific,” Malone said. “This preseason he showed he could score, but he could also be a play maker … No matter where you play him, or when you play him, he’s going to be ready to go.”
Aniello Piro | www.milehighsports.com | October 24th, 2016