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National Basketball Coaches Association presents lifetime impact award to Brendan Malone

NBA coaching lifer Brendan Malone receives the 2023 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award.

LAS VEGAS — Brendan Malone, widely recognized for his defense and whose coaching career spanned six decades, is the recipient of the 2023 Tex Winter Assistant Coach Lifetime Impact Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA) announced Sunday.

“Brendan Malone has been a name synonymous with NBA success for many decades,” said Rick Carlisle, Indiana Pacers Head Coach and NBCA President. “He’s helped develop players and young coaches, and been a multiple NBA champion on Chuck Daly’s Detroit coaching staff in 1989 and 1990. Congrats to Coach Malone on this prestigious recognition.”

“I want to thank the National Basketball Coaches Association for this award,” said Brendan Malone. “Tex Winter was a man I got to know and respect. I also want to thank all of the Head Coaches that I enjoyed working with during my 29-year career in the NBA, in particular Hubie Brown who brought me into the league; Chuck Daly and our two championships; the Van Gundys, Stan and Jeff, and Don Chaney. Lastly, I want to thank my wife Maureen and our six children for sharing my journey.”

Wetting his whistle with a few years of coaching CYO basketball, Malone began his coaching career in 1967 at the legendary Power Memorial Academy in New York City where he won three city championships and three Coach of the Year awards.

He then moved to the college ranks in 1976 as an Assistant Coach at Fordham, then Yale, and then Syracuse. At Syracuse, the Orange went to the NCAA tournament four times. Malone was a Syracuse assistant for the first five years of the Big East. He left Syracuse to become Head Coach at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 1984.

While at URI in 1986, Hubie Brown recruited Malone to join him as an Assistant Coach for the New York Knicks, the beginning of his 29-year NBA career. Malone had three different tours with the Knicks, the most notable of which was the four years with Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy. From 1996 to 2000, the Knicks went 177-119 with two Eastern Conference Finals appearances, as well as a trip to the 1999 NBA Finals.

Malone was an Assistant Coach for Stan Van Gundy for five years (2007 to 2012) in Orlando. The Magic won 50-plus games four straight years, went to the Eastern Conference Finals twice, and to the 2009 NBA Finals.

Malone was also an Assistant Coach for Bob Hill and Rick Pitino in New York, Don Chaney in both Detroit and New York Isiah Thomas in Indiana, Paul Silas in Cleveland and Stan Van Gundy in Detroit. He was also a scout for the Detroit Pistons.

But it was in Detroit with Chuck Daly, that Malone made his name, orchestrating the Jordan Rules defense that helped propel the Pistons to back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.

Malone was the first Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors in 1995-96 and also served as Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for 18 games in 2004-05.

In 27 seasons of NBA coaching, teams that Malone coached went to the playoffs twenty times, to the Conference Finals seven times, and to the NBA Finals four times, winning the title twice. His teams compiled a 1,165-1,001 record (.538).

Brendan and his son, Michael, Head Coach of the 2023 NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, are the only father-son coaching duo to have both won an NBA Championship.

“I want to thank the NBCA Selection Committee for acknowledging my father’s impact and career in the NBA,” said Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets Head Coach. “His work ethic, his love of the game, and his passion for teaching were the foundation of my coaching career. This is a well-deserved honor and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this celebration.”

Brendan Malone was enshrined in the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1997 he was inducted into the Basketball Old-Timers of America Hall of Fame (recognizes and honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to New York City basketball). He is a 2017 enshrinee in the Power Memorial Academy Hall of Fame.

“Assistant Coaches generally operate behind the scenes and almost never receive enough public recognition for their team’s success. However, any Head Coach will tell you that they are an indispensable part of the team equation,” said David Fogel, NBCA Executive Director and General Counsel. “Coach Malone’s contributions to the accomplishments of his teams are well known inside the NBA and his contributions to the game continue through his son Michael’s tremendous success. Congratulations to Brendan on this well-deserved honor.”

The NBCA Tex Winter Lifetime Impact Award honors the tremendous achievements and commitment of Hall of Famer Tex Winter, who, over an outstanding NBA coaching career, set a standard of innovation, integrity, competitive excellence, loyalty, and tireless promotion of NBA basketball.

The award is selected annually by the NBCA Selection Committee, comprised of some of the most respected coaches and executives in the game, including Rick Adelman, Hubie Brown, Doug Collins, Wayne Embry, Danny Ferry, Mike Fratello, George Karl, Doc Rivers, Rod Thorn and Lenny Wilkens.

This year’s nominees included Assistant Coaches Bob Beyer, Dan Burke, Jeff Bzdelik, Gordon Chiesa, Carroll Dawson, Hank Egan, Jim Eyen, Brian Hill, Jim Lynam, Bob McAdoo, Brendan Suhr, and Bob Weiss.

Prior recipients are Ron Adams (2022), Dick Helm (2021), Bill Bertka (2019), Tim Grgurich (2018), Ron Rothstein (2017) and Phil Johnson (2016).