Brendan Malone

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.

Central Notes: Pistons, Maker, Williams

The Pistons have restructured their front office and have announced a number of promotions via press release. Pat Garrity has been promoted to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff and Bob Beyer to associate head coach. Otis Smith is joining Detroit’s coaching staff as director of player development/assistant coach, assistant coach Brendan Malone will transition to a special assignment scout, residing in New York, and Quentin Richardson is leaving the organization for personal reasons.

I’m proud to announce the restructuring of our basketball staff knowing that we have great people expanding their roles while maintaining continuity within our department,” coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said in the release.  “Pat, Andrew and Bob are well deserving of new responsibilities and we welcome Otis to Detroit on a full-time basis.  Brendan is moving away from the bench and returning to his New York roots, but will continue to provide great basketball counsel and insight that has made him a great basketball mind for decades.  We thank Quentin for his hard work over the last two seasons and respect his desire to spend more time with his family in Orlando.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks held workouts today for Troy Williams (Indiana), Thon Maker (Australia), Daniel Hamilton (UConn), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville) and Darnell Harris (Middle Tennessee), the team announced.
  • The Pistons held a group pre-draft workout today that included Kay Felder (Oakland), Trey Freeman (Old Dominion), Alex Hamilton (Louisiana Tech), Patrick McCaw (UNLV), Robert Carter (Maryland) and Ben Bentil (Providence), Keith Langlois of relays (via Twitter).

Central Rumors: Bucks, Pistons, Pacers

Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry told Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times that the team would retain GM John Hammond, assistant GM David Morway and coach Larry Drew for next season, but fellow co-owner Wesley Edens wouldn’t confirm that, according to Woelfel. Edens is the team’s representative on the Board of Governors, which would appear to give him final say. Bucks officials and executives around the league told Woelfel that former owner Herb Kohl became “livid” with Hammond last season, and that Kohl, had he not sold the team, would have fired the GM, Woelfel hears. There’s more on the Bucks amid the latest from the Central Division:

  • Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen bid $650MM for the Bucks earlier this year, with plans to move them to Seattle, reports Brian Windhorst of Kohl rejected the bid in favor of Edens and Lasry, who’ve pledged to keep the team in Milwaukee, but the indirect role Ballmer played in pushing for new arenas in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Sacramento is part of why the NBA finds him appealing for the Clippers, Windhorst hears.
  • Pistons boss Stan Van Gundy calls Andre Drummond and soon-to-be restricted free agent Greg Monroe an “ideal pairing,” but he also points to their shortcomings on defense and the team’s struggles with those two in the lineup together with Josh Smith. Keith Langlois of has that and more from his conversation with Van Gundy.
  • The Pistons hired Brendan Malone and Bob Beyer as assistant coaches and cut ties with assistants Rasheed Wallace, Henry Bibby and Bernard Smith, the team formally announced. Beyer leaves the Hornets to take the job in Detroit. John Loyer, who served as the team’s interim head coach last season, remains as an assistant, but there’s a decent chance the team will reassign him, tweets Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The NBA’s revenue sharing system paid the Pacers $15MM last season, multiple sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who also hears that the Grizzlies received that amount, too.

Pistons Notes: Malone, GM, Draft, D-League

The Pistons resolved their front office and coaching situations with a single move last week, hiring Stan Van Gundy as president of basketball operations as well as head coach. Still, the honeymoon didn’t last long, as Tuesday’s lottery forced the team to hand its first-round pick over to Charlotte. Here’s the latest from the Motor City:

  • The Pistons are set to hire Brendan Malone as an assistant coach, a source tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The 72-year-old resigned a week before this past season began from his gig as the lead assistant for the Kings and head coach Michael Malone, his son. Brendan Malone served as an assistant to Chuck Daly during Detroit’s Bad Boy era.
  • Van Gundy is about halfway through the interview process in his search for a GM, as he said to Matt Dery on WMGC-FM in Detroit. Free Press scribe Kirkland Crawford rounds up Van Gundy’s remarks.
  • Detroit’s new one-to-one D-League affiliation makes it less likely the Pistons will select an overseas “draft-and-stash” player at No. 38, since the front office would probably prefer any remedial work be done close to home, MLive’s David Mayo suggests. Mayo addresses that and more in his mailbag column.

Odds & Ends: Oden, Celtics, Turner, 76ers

Greg Oden stepped on an NBA court for the first time in nearly four years tonight, throwing down a dunk and grabbing a pair of rebounds in four minutes of preseason action for the Heat tonight. It still doesn’t constitute an official return the way a regular season appearance would, but it’s a positive sign for the Heat as they attempt to turn Oden from a minimum-salary gamble into a bargain of an inside presence. Here’s more from around the Association:

  • The Celtics don’t plan to keep any of their four players on non-guaranteed deals into the regular season, preferring instead to carry a 14-man roster in a money-saving effort, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Timberwolves front office is reportedly high on Evan Turner, but there’s no talk of a deal that would send the former No. 2 overall pick to Minnesota, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link).
  • James Anderson and Daniel Orton have fully non-guaranteed deals, but they’ve all “all but wrapped up” spots on the Sixers opening-night roster, writes Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier TimesKeith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at Orton’s efforts to make the team, which includes losing nine pounds since the Sixers signed him a week ago.
  • The Blazers cut three players yesterday, but coach Terry Stotts was effusive in his praise of E.J. Singler, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian details.
  • Kings lead assistant coach Brendan Malone resigned today, the team announced, with GM Pete D’Alessandro citing “factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA” for why Malone is stepping down after 27 years in the NBA. Malone is the father of head coach Michael MaloneChris Jent will slide up the bench and replace the elder Malone as lead assistant, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • David Stern characterized as “relatively upbeat” a report that the Bucks gave to the league’s owners on the status of the team’s quest to fund a new arena, as Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel reports.

Odds & Ends: McLemore, Draft, Kings, Jackson

A few random notes from around the league.

Kings Hire Michael Malone

MONDAY, 2:24pm: The Kings have made Malone's hiring official, announcing the move today in a press release.

"Hiring Coach Malone is our first step in giving the best fans in sports the excellence they deserve," Ranadive said as part of a statement.

THURSDAY, 8:48pm: Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Michael Malone has reached an agreement in principle on a four-year deal to coach the Kings. The fourth year deal will be a team option (Twitter links). Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that the deal will be worth more than $9MM if the fourth year option is picked up. Ken Berger of CBS Sports (via Twitter) says that the hiring won't be official until the sale of the Kings to the Vivek Ranadive-led investment group is official, adding that the sale is expected to close tomorrow.

This will be Malone's first opportunity as a head coach in the NBA, but it's worth mentioning that he's had plenty of experience in the league since joining then-Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy as a coaching associate in 2001. Malone has also worked as a top assistant for Mike Brown in Cleveland, Monty Williams in New Orleans, and most recently, Mark Jackson in Golden State. 

The next presumable step for the Kings is to hire a general manager, and a few days ago we heard that the Spurs President R.C. Buford, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, and former Pacers GM David Morway figure to be among the team's top targets. Berger tweets that while Malone's hiring comes without a team president in place, no candidate would object to that decision considering that Malone has been highly regarded as one of the league's top assistant coaches. 

Wojnarowski reports that Malone is expected to hire his father, longtime NBA assistant Brendan Malone, to join him on his coaching staff. A formal announcement on the younger Malone's hiring is expected on Friday.