Report: Nuggets HC Mike Malone in Talks to Join Serbian Olympic Basketball Staff

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone reportedly is in talks to join the Serbia basketball staff as a top aide and consultant for the 2020 Olympics, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times

He would serve under Igor Kokoskov, the former Phoenix Suns head coach and current assistant for the Sacramento Kings, who was named head coach for Serbia in November.

Serbian center Nikola Jokic has played his entire five-year NBA career under Malone with the Nuggets.

Though Malone is American, Jokic provides him with a connection to the European team. His seven years of experience as an NBA head coach, including helping the team reach the No. 2 seed in the West last season, should also be valuable for a team trying to surpass its high expectations this summer.

Serbia earned the silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics after a loss to the United States in the final, although the team only managed a fifth-place finish in the 2019 World Cup.

There is enough talent on the roster to once again compete for a medal, led by NBA All-Star Jokic. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Boban Marjanovic could also play key roles for the squad.

Although Serbia was unable to qualify for the Olympics through the World Cup, the team will get another chance in a qualifying tournament in June.

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