Warriors Coach Jackson hires Mike Malone

June 7, 2011 at 4:17 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif., June 7 (UPI) -- New Golden State Warriors Coach Mark Jackson moved quickly to start putting his staff together, hiring Mike Malone away from New Orleans.

Jackson was named the team's head coach Monday and before the night was over Malone had already agreed to become his lead assistant, a team source told the Oakland Tribune Tribune. Hornets Coach Monty Williams confirmed Malone was headed to Golden State, the newspaper said.

The team didn't reveal the terms of the contract it reached with Jackson, an ABC broadcaster who spent 17 years in the NBA as a player.

Jackson, 46, played for New York (twice), the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana (twice), Denver, Toronto, Utah and Houston. He ranks third on the NBA's all-time assists list (10,334) and was an all-star in 1989.

"After an extensive search and a great deal of consideration, we have come to the conclusion that Mark Jackson is the best coach for this team," Warriors General Manager Larry Riley said in a statement on the team's Web site."He will bring a youthful and fresh approach to our team and the fact that he enjoyed a stellar playing career, where he served most of that time as the leader of some very successful teams, will prove invaluable in the long run."

Jackson said he is "really elated" to become a coach and is "looking forward to the challenge of building the Warriors into a perennial contender."

Jackson replaces Keith Smart, who led the Warriors for one year. Golden State hasn't made the playoffs for four years.

The Tribune said Malone passed up a chance to become Los Angeles Lakers Coach Mike Brown's top assistant.

Under Malone's tutelage this season, the Hornets ranked fifth in the NBA in points allowed, improving from 102.7 points a game last season to 94.04 this season. He spent the previous five seasons with Cleveland.

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