The Sacramento Kings have reached an agreement with Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone to be their head coach, a person familiar with the decision said Thursday night.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly, 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 in the final stages of closing a sale with the Maloof family to buy the Kings.
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.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the agreement, said Malone's deal is for four years and $9 million, with the fourth year being a team option.
Ranadive had promised to move swiftly in rebuilding the franchise that has missed the playoffs seven straight years. The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Kings to the TIBCO Software chairman Tuesday, though the actual sale of the team to Ranadive's group which will acquire a 65 percent controlling interests at a total franchise valuation of $535 million still has to be completed.
Malone, the son of former NBA coach Brendan Malone, has been an assistant in the league for more than a decade and engineered defensive turnarounds at almost every stop which includes the Warriors, New Orleans, Cleveland (2005-10) and the New York Knicks. He has interviewed for NBA coaching vacancies the past few seasons but never landed a top gig.
Warriors' Lee has hip surgery
Golden State Warriors All-Star power forward David Lee had surgery Thursday to repair a torn right hip flexor, an injury that forced him out of the starting lineup and limited his minutes in the playoffs.
The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, the team said. Lee will start rehabilitation in the next 10 to 14 days.
No further timetable on his recovery was announced.
During the regular season, he averaged 18.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Lee led the NBA with 56 double-doubles.