Nuggets hire Malone as coach
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.