DENVER – Denver Nuggets Coach Dan Issel, criticized for an insensitive ethnic remark he made on Dec. 11, will take a leave of absence, the team announced Saturday.
Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said Issel requested "some additional time to consider his future in terms of coaching the Nuggets. He wants to make sure his return to the sidelines is in his best interest and the best interest of the organization."
No timetable has been set for Issel's return, although Vandeweghe said he believed Issel would need only a day or two to make a decision.
As Issel walked off the court after the Nuggets lost to the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 11, a fan shouted at him. The coach responded: "Go drink another beer, you Mexican ... ," adding an expletive at the end of the sentence.
Issel was suspended for four games. He apologized the following day and then met with Hispanic leaders.
On Wednesday, Issel again met with Hispanic leaders, who accepted his apology, and the two sides agreed to work together to benefit the community.
Issel has acknowledged that he has trouble controlling his temper and plans to do something about it, but has not been more specific.