Kings coach Michael Malone’s competitive spirit does not discriminate.
So before the Kings played the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena, there was no need for sentiment just because Malone’s father, Brendan, is an assistant on coach Stan Van Gundy’s staff.
Though the Malones saw each other before the game, once it began, the last thing on Michael’s mind was a father-son reunion.
“The best part about (Saturday) is my daughters will get to see their grandfather,” Michael said. “It’s great, but once the ball goes up, I don’t even realize he’s over there. We need a win; that’s all I’m concerned about.”
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It was the 72-year-old Brendan’s first appearance as a coach in Sacramento since he resigned as an assistant on Michael’s staff before last season.
Brendan was going to be Michael’s lead assistant before he stepped down over concerns about the rigors of the season.
Brendan joined Van Gundy’s staff in the offseason, as Detroit is much closer to Malone’s New York home. He had worked under Van Gundy as an assistant with Orlando.
So Saturday was not the first time Michael and Brendan were on opposing benches.
“No disrespect to my father, but all I’m concerned about is doing all I can to help this team win a game and get back to .500,” Michael said.
Turnaround trip – The Kings recalled rookie forward Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League on Saturday, a day after assigning him to Reno.
Moreland had 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in the Bighorns’ 133-122win over the Idaho Stampede on Friday in Reno.
In six games, Moreland averaged 14.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the Bighorns.
Downgraded – After being listed as probable, forward Omri Casspi was inactive because of a left knee contusion.
Casspi missed his second straight game.
Switching it up – After starting Reggie Evans at center for three games, Malone went back to Ryan Hollins in place of DeMarcus Cousins, who is recovering from viral meningitis.
Hollins has started six of the nine games Cousins has missed.
Malone plans to look at the lineup on a game-by-game basis. Hollins (7 feet, 240 pounds) is the tallest player the Kings had to deal with Detroit center Andre Drummond, who entered Saturday third in the NBA with 11.9 rebounds per game.