Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone is not mincing words when evaluating his team’s play on the defensive end of the court.

In fact, Malone is being brutally honest with his assessment.

“It’s a losing proposition,” Malone told reporters after their recent loss to the Sacramento Kings. “Offense sells tickets; defense wins championships. Right now our defense is the worst in the NBA.”

Malone referred to the defense as “a joke right now.”

“No veteran leadership stepping up, don’t hear anyone speaking, taking the lead,” Malone said. “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.”

Statistically, Denver’s defense has been abysmal. Currently they rank 3rd worst in the league in defensive efficiency, fourth worst in opponents’ field goal shooting and sixth worst in opponents’ 3-point shooting.

“We have the worst defense in the NBA,” Malone said. “That is the bottom line. It is embarrassing how we go out and attempt to defend every night. That is something that we have to try and fix as soon as possible, because it’s at an all-time low right now, and that is a huge concern of mine.”

There is still time for the Nuggets to turn things around, but Malone thinks there is a lot of work that the team needs to do both on the floor and from a culture standpoint.