Of all the head-coaching opportunities, Malone said he was excited most by the Kings job. The Kings have a roster of a few promising players, few veterans and some unproven young players. He said he would keep an open mind when considering the future of those players. Malone was an assistant to Mark Jackson for the Golden State Warriors the past two seasons.
Ranadive praised Malone's focus and said he decided to hire Malone before a general manager to give the new coach the most time possible to prepare for the upcoming National Basketball Association draft. Outgoing General Manager Geoff Petrie will stay on until after the draft in an advisory capacity.
Malone said he plans to greet volatile center Demarcus Cousins “with open arms” and that someone with Cousins talent should be the cornerstone of this franchise for years to come. Malone has not spoken to Cousins, but Ranadive has. He said Cousins in their conversation told the new owner, “Let’s do something big” and that he was excited about the new coach and ownership group.
Ranadive said Cousins could be the face of the franchise as the new owner attempts to market the Kings to Ranadive’s birth country of India, “I'd like nothing more than for a billion Indians to know who Demarcus Cousins is.”
Malone said defense will be a priority, “There’s no doubt they can be better. There’s only room for improvement when you’re last in the league in almost every defensive category. So, it’s a matter of teaching and I think that’s what all good coaches are -are teachers.” The new head coach said the players on the Golden State Warrior this past season were not the best defensive players individually, but a properly-designed team defense approach does work to limit opposing team’s offensive chances.
This is Malone’s first year as an NBA head coach. He says he will hire his father, Brendan as an assistant coach. Brendan Malone has 25 years experience as a head and assistant coach in the NBA.
UPDATE: June 04, 2013: The Sacramento Kings today announced that Kings Assistant Coaches Jim Eyen, Alex English, and Clifford Ray will not be retained for the upcoming season, effectively immediately.
The Malone family has moved 5 times in 8 years. Malone says his two daughters became big Warriors fans last year and cried when told they were moving to Sacramento. But, he says by the next morning, they had taken into account what an opportunity it was for their father and, “Now, they're ok with it.”
Malone will have a better idea of how ok he will be with his new team June 27. That’s the date of the NBA draft. The Kings draft seventh.