The Sacramento Kings have gone through a complete transformation this summer with the sale of their team to Sacramento’s TIBCO CEO and founder, Vivek Ranadivé. The Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist didn’t waste any time overhauling the Kings by hiring a new coach in former Warriors assistant Mike Malone and GM Pete D’Alessandro, but the new coach once had much different aspirations than NBA head coach.
The estimable Sacramento Bee sports columnist and old Kings beat reporter Ailene Voisin recently sat down for a Q&A with Malone where they discuss his relationship with Ranadive from their time together with the Warriors (Ranadive was a minority owner before purchasing the Kings), Kings personnel, Malone’s plans for the team moving forward, his relationship with new GM Pete D’Alessandro (himself a New York native like Malone), and an interesting anecdote about Malone’s time right after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Maryland.
Voisin: …you come from a New York family of coaches and cops. I heard you were conflicted [on coaching]. Didn’t you originally want to be a secret agent?
Malone: I always wanted to coach, but after I graduated [from Loyola in Maryland], I couldn’t get a coaching job. I was a volunteer assistant, living at home, working at Foot Locker, cleaning office buildings at 1 o’clock in the morning. I was thinking, ‘What am I doing? This isn’t part of the plan.’ I figured I’d become a state trooper with hopes of becoming a secret agent.
But it’s like Yogi Berra says, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ I was just days from going to the academy to become a state trooper in Michigan, pulling people over, maybe getting shot, and all of a sudden, I get a call from Providence coach Pete Gillen. The next thing you know, I’m coaching in the Big East.
Emphasis ours. You should really read the whole thing, too.
So not only is Mike Malone the progeny of an NBA coach, Brendan Malone, but if he hadn’t gotten into coaching like his dad, he might have been a secret agent, or at least a state trooper willing to face the bad guy’s bullets.
After staving off the sale to Seattle, the fans in Sacramento are hoping Ranadivé, Malone and D’Alessandro are building something special in place of the awful end to the Maloof brother’s regime.
Malone’s backup career plan should make fans happy, too. He’s not a guy to shy away from danger, and his secret agent aspirations mean he’ll have no problem keeping the playbook under wraps.
What do you think of Sacramento’s new head coach?
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