Malone tells assistant Kings coaches they will not be retained

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 5, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 - 4:02 pm

The remaking of the Kings continued Tuesday when assistant coaches from Keith Smart's staff were informed by new head coach Michael Malone they would not be retained.

The contracts for Jim Eyen, Alex English, Bobby Jackson and Clifford Ray expire June 30. Smart was fired last week with one year left on his deal. Jackson, the popular former Kings player, was added to the staff for the 2011-12 season, under Paul Westphal. The team announced Jackson would remain with the Kings in another capacity yet to be determined.

After retiring from the Kings as a player, Jackson served as "team ambassador" during the 2009-10 season by representing the team at community events and being involved with fans. He also served in a regional scout/player development role. Jackson assisted the front office with scouting, player evaluations and preparing for the NBA draft.

The rest of the coaching staff wasn't so fortunate.

Eyen was the lead assistant and came to the Kings with Westphal in 2009.

English, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame small forward, joined the staff in 2012 after Smart was promoted to head coach after Westphal was fired.

Ray, whose specialty is coaching post players, joined the staff full time this past season after volunteering late in the 2011-12 season.

The purge was expected with Malone looking to put his imprint on the team. Malone already said he would add his father, longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, to his staff.

Comcast Sports Northwest reported Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing was contacted about his interest in joining Malone's staff.

Ewing, however, is scheduled to meet with new Charlotte coach Steve Clifford about joining the staff as Clifford's lead assistant. Ewing also is friends with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and has known Clifford for some time after working with him in Orlando and Houston.

"It's all about the right fit," Ewing told the cable network. "I just don't want to come in and be labeled a big-man's coach. We'll sit down and see what we can offer one another and go from there."

Golden State assistant coach Bob Beyer also has been mentioned as a possible candidate to join Malone's staff.

Beyer was on the coaching staff in Orlando with Clifford, Ewing and Brendan Malone.

Beyer also has been reported to be a candidate for a job in Charlotte with Clifford.

The changes in the Kings' organization weren't limited to the coaching staff.

Troy Hanson, vice president of media relations, and Darrin May, executive director of media relations, were both told Monday they would not be retained.

Hanson worked directly with the Maloof family, so his dismissal after 21 years with the team wasn't a surprise.

The Maloofs had Hanson work with Chris Hansen and his presentation to the NBA in his attempt to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle.

May, who spent 13 years in Sacramento, handled the day-to-day media operations for the team and coaches, including travel.

More decisions dealing with basketball operations are expected when the team hires a new general manager.

The front office continues to schedule pre-draft workouts under basketball president Geoff Petrie, even while new majority owner Vivek Ranadive searches for Petrie's replacement.

Memphis general manager Chris Wallace is a top candidate. Ranadive also has interviewed Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk. The Kings also have reached out to Mike Dunleavy, Larry Bird and Chris Mullin.

Second chance – USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told Yahoo! Sports that Kings center DeMarcus Cousins would be invited to the Team USA minicamp next month in Las Vegas.

Colangelo said Cousins had "some growing up to do" when he was a part of the select team that scrimmaged against Team USA before the 2012 Olympics.

Cousins sought out Colangelo to ask him in what ways he'd been immature during the workouts.

Apparently, that's not being held against Cousins.

"You bury the past and go forward," Colangelo said. "He's invited and he's definitely on the list. New year, new summer, new opportunity."

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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