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Michael Malone Remembers Father On Eve Of Raising Nuggets’ Championship Banner

michael-malone

Before the Denver Nuggets‘ season opening on Tuesday night, Michael Malone will be looking up when they lift their championship banner.

But he will be gazing past the banner in memory of his late father, who was also his closest confidant, friend, and benefactor.

Nearly two weeks have passed since the passing of Brendan Malone, the veteran coach and inspiration behind the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” defenses in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 81 years old.

The Nuggets coach, Michael Malone, stated, “I’m always thinking about him,” during practice on Monday night, the eve of the team’s game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He’s with me every step of the way. And so tomorrow night, when we celebrate and raise that banner, it’s going to be a great moment for our fans, first and foremost, and for the franchise. But I know my father will be here. He bought tickets on StubHub. He’ll be here.”

Malone, who is starting his ninth season in Denver, always got a call or text after every game from his father. After last week’s preseason finale against the Clippers in Los Angeles, he didn’t have any advice for the first time that he can remember.

“And that hit me,” Malone said. “That was hard.”

His father worked for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, and Pistons for thirty years as an assistant or head coach in the NBA.

Working with Chuck Daly and the Pistons from 1988 to 1995, Brendan Malone contributed to the creation of “The Jordan Rules,” a defensive system intended to limit Michael Jordan’s ability to score points. Detroit won two NBA titles as a result of it in 1989 and 1990.

Michael Malone is going to get his own championship ring on Tuesday. He might not wear the ring very often, like his father.

“He always thought those rings were in the safety-deposit box,” said Malone, whose team went 16-4 in the playoffs on the way to the franchise’s first NBA crown, including a sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. “But my mother put them in his underwear drawer. So that’s probably where mine will be as well.”

It’s all about the mission to win the NBA championship again when the banner is hoisted and the rings are distributed. However, Malone has truly moved on and has long since stopped looking back.

precisely like his father would have advised.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for everything that he had done for me,” Malone said. “He knows I love him. He’ll be here tomorrow night.”

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