The one person we haven't heard from in the wake of Michael Malone's firing as head coach of the Sacramento Kings is Michael Malone himself. Last night however, Malone sent the following statement to the Sacramento Bee:
"Coaching in the NBA is an honor and a privilege, one I've never taken for granted. The valued relationships I've garnered over the last 17 months with the entire Kings ownership group, players, team personnel, and members of the press leave an indelible mark on me and my family. I want to thank Vivek Ranadive for the opportunity and wish the franchise good fortune moving forward. Though my time as Head Coach ended much sooner than anticipated, I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish during our time together. Anchored by a loyal and dedicated coaching staff, we worked hard to instill a culture of discipline, trust, and respect that progressed this team further than many expected in a short time. The development of our players, both on and off the court, has given me the most joy. Many of them have played the best basketball of their careers and I am happy to be a small part of that. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't express gratitude for the passionate fans who support Kings basketball every night. They welcomed me like family and lived up to their well established reputation as the best fans in the NBA."
A classy response from a classy guy. Malone will bounce back on his feet in the NBA, probably sooner rather than later. I wish him nothing but the best.