Nuggets’ Mike Malone will coach LeBron James’ team in All-Star Game
Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone will be making his NBA All-Star game debut as head coach of Team LeBron.
— 2019 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 3, 2019
Malone barely edged out Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr for the honors to be the Western Conference representative on the weekend’s main event.
The deadline for determining the head coaches for the All-Star game is February 3. The Nuggets’ slim 107-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves secured Malone and his staff the coaching job. Denver is currently tied for first in the Western Conference standings with the Warriors, as both teams sport a 37-15 mark as of February 3.
According to NBA.com, in case there is a tie at the deadline, the league will look at the two teams’ head-to-head matchup. However, the two teams have a 1-1 season series record. The second tie-breaker looks at their records against teams in their own conference. Denver’s slight half-game edge of 23-10 compared to Golden State’s 22-10 ultimately gave Malone the nod for his first coaching gig at the All-Star game.
Malone has definitely come a long way and is reaping the rewards of working his way to the top of the NBA coaching world. The 48-year-old has been a long-time assistant coach since 2001, having stints with four different franchises, including the Golden State Warriors, where he was named the best assistant coach by league GMs in 2012.
Malone earned his first ever NBA coaching job in 2013 with the Sacramento Kings but was fired midway through the 2014-15 season despite seemingly having a good relationship with then Kings star DeMarcus Cousins.
Now, with Denver, Malone is enjoying his best stint as the lead man patrolling the sidelines, leading the Nuggets to the top of the talent-heavy Western Conference standings.