Michael Malone was an assistant coach on teams that featured LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul, so he’s using that experience to draw the attention of rookie Emmanuel Mudiay, as Malone explains to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. The new Nuggets head coach is getting a second chance to lead a team after the Kings fired him this past December, and Malone reiterated his feeling that the turmoil Sacramento endured after his dismissal served to validate the work that he and his staff had done.
“By the end of it, I looked like John Wooden,” Malone said to Simmons.
Malone will seek to right a franchise that had its share of upheaval last season. See more from around NBA circles:
- UNLV is the latest school to organize a preseason showcase for NBA scouts, joining Kentucky and LSU, reports Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). A handful of UNLV players are drawing looks from NBA personnel, Borzello says, but only Stephen Zimmerman, a 7’0″ freshman center, appears in the top 100 prospects for 2016 that Jonathan Givony compiles for DraftExpress or on Chad Ford’s ESPN.com Big Board.
- The Timberwolves will speak with organizers in Omaha who say they’ve secured a commitment for a D-League franchise there at some point, but the Wolves would prefer their eventual one-to-one D-League affiliate be closer to Minneapolis, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Wolves are less likely to end up with a D-League affiliate in the near future than any team except the Bulls, opines Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Johnson identifies the Hornets as the team most likely to have its own D-League team soon, probably by the 2016/17 season.
- The Amerileague, a startup domestic minor league with six teams, is handing out contracts worth as much as $50K per month, notes international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). That’s about twice as much as D-Leaguers in the top salary tier make for an entire season.