Just five days after former Sacramento Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro accepted a "high-ranking front office job" with the Denver Nuggets, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is now reporting that the Nuggets have hired former Sacramento Kings Head Coach Michael Malone as their new … Head Coach.
This is weird, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
In Wojnarowski’s original report, he mentioned that D’Alessandro’s hiring would have no impact on Michael Malone as a head coaching candidate. We all laughed at the national reporter man, and we were all wrong. I’ll speak for myself, anyway. I was wrong.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around how any of this works, and how any of this fits the narrative we’ve been led to believe.
A lot of folks, myself included, are falling back on the fact that Pete D’Alessandro’s new position has him far away from basketball operations. We don’t know this as fact, but it makes some sense. He was hired as an employee that will work on both the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche. That doesn’t sound like a ‘basketball ops’ position to me.
But still. It’s weird.
The now-infamous Cowbell Kingdom Podcast from a few weeks ago talked about, in detail, how poor the relationship between Pete D’Alessandro and Michael Malone had become. James Ham even alluded to a potential fistfight if the two ever saw each other again. And now they are working in the same organization, under the same employer.
It would be natural to question how Malone’s firing went down, wouldn’t it? From the beginning we’ve had reliable local sources report that it was a D’Alessandro / Chris Mullin decision, and national sources like Mr. 1st and goal himself, Adrian Wojnarowski, reporting that Vivek Ranadive ‘forced’ D’Alessandro to let Malone go.
I’m going to stick with local narrative, but I can’t give you any explanation for how or why Denver would want to reunite Michael Malone and Pete D’Alessandro.
Most of us around these parts think Michael Malone is a really good coach. From that perspective, it makes sense for the Nuggets to want to hire that guy. If you have an opportunity to bring on someone like Malone, and you believe in his talent, you do it. You don’t let an organizational executive get in the way of that.
Why would Malone want to work around D’Alessandro again? That one is simple. There are only 30 NBA head coaching positions available on the planet. If one of them is available, and it’s offered to you, you have to take it.
That is how I choose to make sense of it, but I’m not going to pretend like there aren’t thousands of other layers to this story, and that I have any idea how, or why any of this went down the way that it did.
I hope this doesn’t impact DeMarcus Cousins’ desire to stay in Sacramento, or his desire to play in Denver. I hope Cousins and Karl can start communicating. I hope. That is the only part of this saga that I really care about. The rest of it is nothing but interesting. The Cousins stuff, though? That is real. That is relevant.
Outside of any Cousins-poaching attempt, I couldn’t be happier for Michael Malone. I knew he’d get another head coaching opportunity, but I didn’t know it would be this soon, and I certainly didn’t know it would be with that team, but the Nuggets got better today.
I'd love to move on from the messy past, but cosmic forces just won't let us. Stop getting so twisted, weird, and interesting, narrative.