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Assistant coach candidate profiles: Michael Malone

May 31, 2011 |  1:15 pm

Below is the second post in a series looking at potential Lakers assistant coaches. We'll look at Michael Malone, whom The Times' Broderick Turner reported might be hired by new Coach Mike Brown. The New Orleans Times-Picayune's John Reid also reported that the Hornets have given Malone permission to interview with the Lakers.

Background: Malone is currently the No. 1 assistant under Hornets Coach Monty Williams, but an NBA official briefed on the matter told Turner that the Hornets are mulling their options with Malone. CBS Sports' Ken Berger reported that Malone is also considered a candidate for the Golden State Warriors' vacant head-coaching spot, but various reports indicate that he's not the favorite. Prior to his stint with the Hornets, Malone, son of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, was with Cleveland, after spending four seasons with the New York Knicks, originally joining that team under Jeff Van Gundy in 2001 as an associate coach and then becoming an assistant coach under Don Chaney in May 2003. His other coaching stints include his start at Oakland (Mich.) University, a three-year stay at Providence College (1995-98), one year at Virginia (1998-1999) and two years as the lead assistant at Manhattan College (1999-2001), 

Malone has kept his offseason fairly busy, serving as an assistant coach for the Canadian Men's Senior National team since 2007 and guiding them to a top-four finish in the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship. Other coaching stints in the offseason have included being the head coach for Cleveland's summer-league entry and coaching the Knicks' summer-league teams for two seasons.

Connection to Brown: Malone worked with Brown in Cleveland for five years before the Cavaliers fired Brown after the 2009-2010 season. Before joining the Hornets' staff the following season, Malone was given the responsibility of managing the Cavaliers' defense and proved to be a huge reason why they thrived in that area.

Style: Malone also played role of a defense-minded coach when he joined New Orleans last season, helping the Hornets become the NBA's fifth-ranked defensive team, allowing only 94 points per game, and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Turner reported that should Malone be hired, Brown would likely give him similar duty in overseeing the team's defense. "It's not just about X's and O's at times," Malone told reporters when he joined the Hornets' coaching staff. "It's how you communicate and how you buy in and be committed to what you're trying to preach."

-- Mark Medina

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