SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — A person familiar with the decision says the Sacramento Kings have reached an agreement with Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone to be their head coach.
An AP source said Malone was incoming owner Vivek Ranadive’s top choice. Ranadive has been a minority owner of the Warriors the past three seasons and is closing a sale with the Maloof family to buy the Kings.
The deal is the first big hire since the team was purchased from the Maloof family this month. The deal comes amid rumors Kings General Manager Geoff Petrie is on his way out of a position he’s held since 1996.
Malone’s hiring officially ends Keith Smart’s tenure as Sacramento’s coach. Smart took over for the fired Paul Westphal in January 2012 and had one year remaining on his contract.
According to his NBA bio, Malone has 10 years of coaching experience as an assistant with the Warriors, the New Orleans Hornets the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks. During his time with the Hornets, the team was the most improved defensively in 2011. His tenure in Cleveland coincided with Lebron James’ time with the team. Before he coached the Knicks, he spent seven years as a college coach.