Former NBA Coach Brendan Malone Passes Away

Former NBA head coach Brendan Malone has passed away at age 81, the Nuggets announced today (via Twitter). He was the father of current Denver head coach Michael Malone.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we share the passing of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, who holds a special place amongst the organization and will be a Denver Nugget forever,” the team said in a statement. “Coach Brendan Malone was a great man who left behind a great legacy in the world of basketball, but he will be remembered even more for the amazing husband, father, son, and grandfather that he was and the profound impact he had on the friends, family, and colleague who were lucky enough to know him.

“Our thoughts are with the entire Malone family and all of Brendan’s loved ones who are feeling this loss today.”

The elder Malone, who spent a decade as a coach at the NCAA level before moving to the NBA, was hired by the Knicks as an assistant in 1986 and then joined the Pistons in 1988. He was part of two championship teams in Detroit under Chuck Daly in 1989 and 1990 and helped to establish the Pistons’ “Jordan Rules” to thwart Michael Jordan and the Bulls in those postseasons. Malone eventually left Detroit for Toronto, where he was the first head coach of the expansion Raptors in 1995/96.

Following a one-year stint in Toronto, Malone was an assistant for most of the next decade with the Knicks, Pacers, and Cavaliers. He also briefly served as Cleveland’s interim head coach in 2005, then was an assistant with the Magic from 2007-12 and with the Pistons from 2014-16.

Brendan was hired by the Kings in 2013 as an assistant under his son Michael, but stepped down just before the start of that season.

We at Hoops Rumors send our condolences to Brendan’s friends and family.

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