Nuggets’ Mike Malone interested in potential role with Serbian national team
Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone has revealed that he has an interest in a potential role with the Serbian national team.
Per Mike Singer of the Denver Post, Malone shared that he’s had conversations with Serbian national team head coach Igor Kokosov.
“Right now I’m having some dialogue with Igor. We’ve had some great conversations. Nothing is official yet, but it’s something that I definitely have interest in.”
Malone asked about his potential role with Serbian national team: “Right now I’m having some dialogue with Igor. We’ve had some great conversations. Nothing is official yet, but it’s something that I definitely have interest in.”
— Mike Singer (@msinger) January 20, 2020
Why Serbia Is Interested in the Nuggets’ Malone
Just a few days ago, Marc Stein of the New York Times shared that the Serbian basketball federation was in ‘advanced discussions’ with Malone as a top aide and consultant. The connection between Malone and Serbia lies in Nikola Jokic. As the best player of both the Nuggets and Serbia, the national team is relying on Malone’s talents on how to utilize the big man as the focal point of the offense.
Serbia's best player, of course, is also Malone's: Nikola Jokic. A deep Denver playoff run would make it a very short turnaround before Olympic last-chance qualifying in June, but Serbia's dream scenario is having both Nuggets for the six-team event it hosts for one spot in Tokyo
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 14, 2020
Further, the move by Serbia is seen as an effort to redeem themselves after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the FIBA World Cup. As such, they will need to enter a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was a disheartening finish since they had Jokic (who many believe was the best player of the tourney) and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the leading scorer in the tourney.
Serbia is among the favorites to snag a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Of course, the stacked Team USA maybe their biggest foe. Along with European giants Spain and France.
Time will only tell if Serbia does indeed land Malone. The good thing is that the head coach already admitted his interest. Now it’s just a matter of sealing the deal.