Kings coach Michael Malone expects lead assistant Tyrone Corbin, recovering from Achilles’ tendon surgery, to be back on the bench soon.
Corbin is on crutches after surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ suffered in a post-practice player workout. In his absence, Chris Jent returned to the lead assistant role he held last season.
Malone said Corbin won’t travel to Los Angeles for Tuesday night’s game against the Lakers but added Corbin should be back on the bench after the trip.
Even though Corbin is not at his side, Malone said he remains in constant communication with him about adjustments. Corbin, who coached the Utah Jazz the previous four seasons, attended Monday morning’s shootaround and exchanged pregame greetings with his former players Monday night at Sleep Train Arena.
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“We talk and meet a lot as a staff about our team, what we have to do better,” Malone said. “I’m always telling these guys, ‘challenge me, just don’t agree with me. Help me be the best coach I can be because I may be missing something offensively, defensively.’”
Malone said Corbin has been a positive for his staff as he’d hoped. Last season, the Kings didn’t have any assistants with NBA head-coaching experience after Malone’s father, Brendan, resigned during the preseason.
“Tyrone been great,” Malone said. “He’s a guy that I’ve known for a while, but his experience as a player, 16 years playing for some great coaches and then working for and playing under Jerry Sloan (in Utah). Then I thought he did a hell of a job in his four years as Jazz head coach.”
Corbin is the second Kings assistant coach to be injured while working out with players this year. Dee Brown tore his rotator cuff over the summer.
Malone joked the rest of the staff has taken note.
“Corliss (Williamson) said he’s not going to work anybody out. He’s really nervous,” Malone said. “It’s tough when you have guys go down, but it happens. Other guys have to step up and help out any way they can.”
Lineup changes – Malone changed his starting lineup for the first time since DeMarcus Cousins (viral meningitis) has been out.
Cousins missed his sixth game Monday and is out indefinitely, Malone said.
Ryan Hollins, who had started for Cousins, was replaced by Reggie Evans in the starting lineup. It was Evans’ first start of the season.
“You’re always looking to see what can we do better, what can we change to maybe get us over the hump,” Malone said before the game. “You may see a couple different lineups, a couple different guys playing, but we’ll take that on a game-by-game basis.”