When new owner Vivek Ranadive officially took control of the Sacramento Kings, he wasted little time tabbing Mike Malone as the franchise’s next head coach. In fact, Ranadive was so convinced that Malone was the man for the job—the two were familiar with each other from their time together with the Golden State Warriors, of which Ranadive was a minority owner and Malone the lead assistant head coach—that he shirked conventional wisdom and hired Malone before finding a general manager.
Malone has been one of the league’s top assistants for years, but this is his first stint as a head coach in the NBA. And needless to say, he got that opportunity because the Kings have been floundering and are in dire need of a new direction—with Malone being the one guiding them through that process.
It certainly won’t be easy, but Ranadive’s convinced Malone is the one to lead the charge. And unlike in years past, the team now has a strong ownership group that’s willing to back its coach monetarily and philosophically.
In short, Malone’s got the keys to the car and there’s gas in the tank—he’s just got to be the one to drive it. If he wants to steer the Kings in the right direction, here are a few keys to start on the road back to prominence.