Nuggets hire Malone as coach

Los Angeles Times - - THE DAY IN SPORTS -

The Den­ver Nuggets took 105 days to find their new head coach. Now that they’ve agreed to a deal with Michael Malone, they’re off and run­ning. Or are they? Malone is a no-non­sense, de­fense­minded coach, not ex­actly the fast­paced tac­ti­cian many ex­pected them to go af­ter to cap­i­tal­ize on the mile­high al­ti­tude.

The team an­nounced Malone’s hir­ing Mon­day. He beat out in-house can­di­date Melvin Hunt, who had served as in­terim coach af­ter Brian Shaw was fired on March 3.

Malone was let go by Sacra­mento in De­cem­ber af­ter go­ing 39-67 in parts of two sea­sons with the Kings. The per­son who fired Malone was Pete D’Alessan­dro, who re­cently left his job as gen­eral man­ager in Sacra­mento to take a po­si­tion as the Nuggets’ se­nior vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness and team oper­a­tions.

D’Alessan­dro is ex­pected to work in more of a sup­port role un­der Josh Kroenke, the pres­i­dent of the Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

The Char­lotte Hor­nets an­nounced that cen­ter Al Jef­fer­son ex­er­cised the third-year op­tion on his con­tract and will re­main with the team next sea­son. The 11-year NBA vet­eran will make $13.5 mil­lion in the fi­nal year of his deal.

The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jef­fer­son said af­ter the reg­u­lar sea­son he planned to re­main with the Hor­nets be­cause there was “un­fin­ished busi­ness” to at­tend to af­ter Char­lotte failed to make the play­offs. Jef­fer­son strug­gled with in­juries last sea­son and ap­peared in 65 games, av­er­ag­ing 16.6 points, 8.4 re­bounds, 1.7 as­sists and 1.3 blocks in 30.6 min­utes.

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