Well, it seems near official now, Mike Malone is heading to the Golden State Warriors according to several sources of Sam Amick and Adrian Wojnarowski. This is a big coup for the Warriors still being able to lure two head-coaching candidates. While Mark Jackson does the motivating, Mike Malone will do a lot of the hard yard work when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. It was highly speculated that Malone was going to the Los Angeles Lakers to join Mike Brown’s staff, but the Lakers have been in a cost cutting mode, especially when it comes to the coaching staff so they missed out on their guy.
For Warriors fans, let me just say, that you should be more excited about getting Malone than you should Jackson. Malone transformed the defense in New Orleans moving them into the 8th ranked spot in the league. It certainly wasn’t done all by himself, but where ever he goes he seems to drastically improve defenses.
Which is why this makes a tonne of sense for Golden State. Over the past few years the Warriors have been notorious for their lackluster defense. While that could be attributed to their roster make-up, the fact they haven’t had the best defensive scheme put in place is also a logical reason.
Malone is going to help aid that by installing his defensive scheme. We all know Golden State can ball on offense, but when (and if) there is a training camp expect the big word to be “defense.”
As for the Hornets this is a huge blow to their offseason. While it was pretty much inevitable that Malone would leave, it didn’t take away from the fact that it still sucks. Chris Paul noted a big reason the Hornets were able to challenge the Lakers was their coaching staff. With Malone gone it appears that strength may now be somewhat lost.
New Orleans will no doubt have several candidates to interview, but I can’t help but specualte as to the significance of Malone leaving. It may not have any direct bearing on what Chris Paul or David West actually do when it comes to their services, but I can’t help but feel it’s not exactly encouraging. The Hornets, and their market, get continually scrutinized for their inability to hold onto talent and turn it into a winning program. It’s why the Bleacher Report spews out the same rhetorical, and poorly structured articles, people don’t see it working here in New Orleans.
The Hornets off-season could have gotten off to a much better start. They need to start bringing in more talent than they’re letting go. Malone leaving does speak volumes as to the achievements of the organisation. Heck even Jerry West gave his Coach of the Year vote to Monty Williams. But it still is a huge void that needs to be filled, because we need to buck the trend of talent leaving, and to make talent come here.