Mike Malone one and done with the Hornets?

Published: June 6, 2011

The Hornets were good at one thing last year:  Defense.  In the largest improvement by any team on either side of the ball, the Hornets improved 14 spots from the 22nd ranked defense to the 8th ranked defense.   Despite the inordinate amount of time we spend looking at the offensive issues this team has, defense really was the story for New Orleans last year.

It’s possible – and looking probable now – that the defense may suffer a blow this off-season.  Monty Williams’ lead assistant and defensve guru, Mike Malone, is being strongly pursued by both Los Angeles and Golden State warriors, according to tweets by Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  The Lakers job has to be a consideration for Malone, not just because it’s one of the more glamorous places to work, but because the Lakers just recently hired Mike Brown, formerly of the Cavaliers, to coach their team.  Prior to joining the Hornets, Malone was Brown’s lead assistant in Cleveland.  By all reports, Brown wants to re-create the partnership that did make Cleveland a strong defensive team for years.

At the same time, the Warriors and their new Mr. MoneyBags owner is ready to throw big money at Malone to become newly hired Mark Jackson’s lead assistant in Golden State.  Marc Stein even mentioned they’d consider giving Malone the title of associate head coach.  If I were Malone and not willing to return to the Hornets, the Lakers job would be pretty enticing, but I’d take the Warriors job, using the following line of thinking.

  1. The Warriors will help me make it rain
  2. Mark Jackson is an cliche-spewing windbag that some people can’t stomach even for two hours while watching an NBA game.
  3. This Warriors roster may have the worst defensive talent of all time.
  4. Mark Jackson is bound to irritate the crap out of all my bosses.
  5. I let Mark talk his way out of a job, while perhaps pulling off the greatest coaching job of all time by turning the team into at least a moderately decent defensive squad.
  6. I ditch the “associate” part of my title and the Warriors help me make it rain even more.

Tell me what you think.  If Malone isn’t staying, should he roll with the Warriors or Lakers?

Update: Looks like Malone agreed with me.   Did you?


  1. Pingback: Should Hornets Fans Be Worried About Mike Malone Leaving? « Swarm & Sting | A New Orleans Hornets Blog

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