Brendan Malone, a former NBA head coach, has died at the age of 81, the Nuggets announced today (via Twitter). He was the father of Michael Malone, the current head coach of Denver.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we share the passing of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, who holds a special place amongst the organization and will be a Denver Nugget forever,” the team said in a statement. “Coach Brendan Malone was a great man who left behind a great legacy in the world of basketball, but he will be remembered even more for the amazing husband, father, son, and grandfather that he was and the profound impact he had on the friends, family, and colleague who were lucky enough to know him.
“Our thoughts are with the entire Malone family and all of Brendan’s loved ones who are feeling this loss today.”
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) October 10, 2023
The senior Malone was hired by the Knicks as an assistant in 1986 and subsequently joined the Pistons in 1988. He spent ten years as a coach at the NCAA level before making the switch to the NBA. In 1989 and 1990, he was a member of two championship teams in Detroit led by Chuck Daly. He also assisted in the creation of the “Jordan Rules” that the Pistons used to prevent Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the playoffs. Malone later moved from Detroit to Toronto, where in 1995–96 he served as the first head coach of the expansion Raptors.
Malone spent a year as a coach in Toronto before spending the most of the next ten years as an assistant with the Knicks, Pacers, and Cavaliers. He also served as the interim head coach of Cleveland for a short while in 2005. He then worked as an assistant coach with the Magic from 2007 to 2012 and the Pistons from 2014 to 2016.
The Kings recruited Brendan in 2013 to work as his son Michael’s assistant, but Brendan left soon before the start of that season.
We at Hoops Rumors offer Brendan’s friends and family our sympathies.