The Golden State Warriors have hired Michael Malone as an assistant coach, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. Malone will serve as the lead assistant to newly hired Head Coach Mark Jackson.
Malone brings 10 years of NBA coaching experience to the Warriors, having most recently served as the lead assistant coach for the New Orleans Hornets this past season. In New Orleans, under Head Coach Monty Williams, Malone helped lead the Hornets to a 46-36 record and a trip to the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Hornets were the most improved defensive team in the NBA last season, allowing a league-best 8.7 fewer points per game than in the previous campaign (94.0 points per contest, after giving up 102.7 in 2009-10.) Additionally, the Hornets limited their opponents to 45.7% shooting from the field in 2010-11 compared to 48.3% the previous season.
Prior to joining the Hornets, Malone served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the previous five seasons. During his time in Cleveland, the Cavs posted a 272-138 (.663) record, which was the third-best mark in the NBA over that span. The Cavaliers made five consecutive playoff appearances during Malone’s time on the bench, reaching the NBA Finals in 2007 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. In 2008-09, the Cavs notched a franchise record and NBA-best 66 wins.
“We are thrilled to be in a position to add Michael Malone to our coaching staff,” said Warriors General Manager/Executive VP of Basketball Operations Larry Riley. “He is a youthful coach with great experience and knowledge of the game. This is a very positive addition to our organization.”
“I am really pleased that Michael has chosen to join our staff as we try to build something special with the Warriors,” said Jackson. “I have known Michael for a long time and think he is one of the bright young minds in the sport. He’s a tireless worker and has a tremendous understanding of the game, which is a potent combination for any coach. Obviously, he is very well-respected in this business and will be a great asset to our staff and someone whose opinion I will value greatly. I think he will be a perfect complement.”
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to join the Golden State Warriors organization,” said Malone. “It’s hard to express how excited I am about working with Mark Jackson and helping build something here with the Warriors. I’d like to thank Joe Lacob, Larry Riley and Mark for this opportunity and cannot wait to get started.”
Malone’s NBA coaching career began with a four-season stint with the New York Knicks, where he originally joined the team as a coaching associate in the summer of 2001, and was promoted to assistant coach in May 2003. Prior to joining the Knicks, Malone spent seven years coaching in the college ranks.