May 25, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT
Golden State’s Mike Malone has been in the group with Brian Shaw and Mike Budenholzer the past few years — top assistant coaches that get interviews but have yet to land in the big chair.
That could be about to change for Malone — it’s a good thing when the owner wants you.
And the new owner of the Kings wants him, reports Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com on Sulia.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob used what he learned as a Celtics’ minority partner to shape his new team. Vivek Ranadive, former Warriors minority owner and now presumptive Kings primary owner, apparently is doing the same, beginning with putting Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone on his list of candidates to be the Kings’ next head coach, a source said.
Malone also is said to be in the mix for the Los Angeles Clippers job, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. Why? Because Chris Paul likes him, of course. Malone was the lead assistant for Monty Williams in New Orleans Chris Paul’s last year there and he really liked playing for him.
But it will come down to owners, which may give the Kings an advantage. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is personally involved in the coaching search for his team (he hired Vinny Del Negro after being charmed by him even though management wanted someone else). He realizes the Clippers are on the verge of contention and while maybe the untested Malone can get them there he seems to be thinking veteran coach (think Nate McMillan).
In the Kings case, the owner knows and apparently likes Malone. The Kings have some potential — if you can get the best out of DeMarcus Cousins nightly — but that is a project where Malone can learn some on the job because the team is rebuilding still. Don’t be shocked if other names like Brian Shaw come into the mix in Sacramento as Ranadive tries to replicate the kind of turnaround in Sacramento that Lacob had with Golden State.