Michael Malone Rumors

With summer league mini-camp set to begin on Monday morning, the Nuggets have finalized their coaching staff under new head coach Michael Malone, according to a source. It is a staff of five new faces, loaded with highly regarded basketball minds. Ed Pinckney comes to the Nuggets after serving under Tom Thibodeau for five years with the Chicago Bulls. Pinckney, best known for his role on the 1985 Villanova basketball team that upset Georgetown to win the national title, will be the lead assistant. The 52-year-old Pinckney has 12 years of coaching experience, including eight in the NBA with Minnesota and Chicago. Next is Chris Fleming, an up-and-coming basketball mind who is currently coach of the German national team. He also coached the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the German League from 2008-14. While he was there, his team was four-time German Cup champions, four-time German League champions, three-time German Supercup champions, and he was German League coach of the year in 2011.
The Denver Nuggets have also been increasingly mentioned as a likely trade suitor for Cousins since the hiring of former Kings coach and Cousins favorite Mike Malone as their new coach. But Denver wouldn’t appear to have the sort of trade assets to rival Boston’s cache of future first-round picks, which tend to become especially handy when trying to assemble multi-team trades.
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In his introductory remarks, the former Sacramento Kings coach said he will emphasis defense but wants the Nuggets to run and take advantage of playing at altitude. “Don’t paint me, I play to the strength of our roster, I believe in playing fast, but more important is being efficient,” Malone said. “We we will use altitude to our advantage. To not use altitude to our advantage would be silly. “We will be a team that defends and rebounds with purpose and runs with purpose.”
The Nuggets have elected to reunite new executive Pete D’Alessandro (late of the Kings) with Michael Malone (late of the Kings). There had been credible reports D’Alessandro (until last week the Kings’ GM) and Malone (until December the Kings’ coach) had a bad relationship and didn’t speak for months. But reports also suggested that Vivek Ranadive — not Pete D. — made the call to can Malone. (It was a bad call.) These are both true. So why are the Nuggets hiring Malone? To me, that says that D’Alessandro is absolutely not calling the basketball shots here. The Nuggets insisted he worked for franchisee Josh Kroenke advising on both pro franchises he runs.
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Ranadive forced D’Alessandro to fire coach Michael Malone in December, but D’Alessandro’s arrival in Denver will have no negative impact on Malone’s candidacy to become Nuggets head coach, sources said. Connelly and Malone have a longstanding relationship and respect for each other, and D’Alessandro wouldn’t be working closely with the head coach. Malone is one of several candidates still being considered for the job, including interim coach Melvin Hunt.
His first gaffe, he said, was hiring coach Michael Malone before assembling a front office and selecting a general manager. “Absolutely,” Ranadive said. “People told me not to do that. But I knew Malone from when he was an assistant with the Warriors, and again, with the draft only weeks away, I had to make very quick decisions. I didn’t know any GMs. At some level, this isn’t rocket science. You hire a guy who is proven and successful, you hire a promising assistant, or you hire a college coach. We saw what happens when … ”