Mike Malone Rumors
Jordi Fernandez is leaving his position as coach of Cavs D-League affiliate Canton Charge to join Mike Malone’s bench on the Denver Nuggets, the Charge announced Tuesday. There was no immediate word on a replacement for Fernandez who, for what it’s worth, leaves as the winningest coach in Charge history with a 62-38 record in two seasons. The Charge reached the conference finals in each of Fernandez’s two years.
“I could be working for the treasury department doing detail for the President and getting shot at, or I could be a coach in the NBA,” the Denver Nuggets boss told CBS Sports this summer. It’s true. When Malone was younger, he was working at Foot Locker in the day, and working with an office cleaning crew from midnight to 4 a.m., while he worked at Oakland University as an assistant under Greg Kampe. “I said ‘I do love coaching. But right now I’m working at a Foot Locker and cleaning up urinals. You know what? I’m better than this.’ And I always had an interest in law enforcement and the Secret Service.”
“We have a young team, for sure,” Malone said. “I hate to lose. I’m competitive. I go into every game truly expecting to win. My expectation, going into every game because we’re prepared, we’ve got everything down, is to win. “But at the same time, I’ve got to do a better job of not taking losses so hard. It’s a long year. I have to be able to take a deep breath. If we come back young, or younger, I’m ready.”
Jordi Fernandez has received his NBA call-up. The Canton Charge head coach has agreed to take an assistant coaching job with the Denver Nuggets, a Charge team source confirmed Tuesday to the Canton Repository. The Denver Post first reported Fernandez’s hiring. Mike Malone is the head coach for the Nuggets and Fernandez worked with Malone on the Cavaliers staff during the 2009-10 season. Malone was a Cavs assistant from 2005-10.
“I’m definitely motivated. No one ever wants to get fired. I don’t care what your job is. I don’t care if you’re working the graveyard shift at the junkyard,” Malone said. “But the way it turned out in Sacramento was kind of a blessing. You couldn’t have asked for a better script, the way their season turned out … it became a nightmare. By the end of it, I became John Wooden.”
Denver has a worse record than this time last season, but veteran point guard Jameer Nelson has told Malone that the overall vibe of the team is “night and day” from last season. “It’s funny because I told him in my eyes, I feel like the team is better,” Nelson said. “Even though we’re not winning like we want to win, the team is better. Some of the games we were involved in last year, we would’ve given up. We haven’t given up any games this year. We’ve fought to the very end.”