Former Sacramento Kings coach Michael Malone issued his first public statement to The Bee since being fired Sunday night.
Though the Kings were playing above the expectations of most, Malone was fired over disagreements on the Kings’ style of play and replaced by interim coach Tyrone Corbin at the urging of general manager Pete D’Alessandro and Chris Mullin, consultant to principal owner Vivek Ranadive.
Malone was 11-13 this season and 39-67 overall.
“Coaching in the NBA is an honor and a privilege, one I’ve never taken for granted. The valued relationships I’ve garnered over the last 17 months with the entire Kings ownership group, players, team personnel, and members of the press leave an indelible mark on me and my family. I want to thank Vivek Ranadive for the opportunity and wish the franchise good fortune moving forward. Though my time as Head Coach ended much sooner than anticipated, I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish during our time together. Anchored by a loyal and dedicated coaching staff, we worked hard to instill a culture of discipline, trust, and respect that progressed this team further than many expected in a short time. The development of our players, both on and off the court, has given me the most joy. Many of them have played the best basketball of their careers and I am happy to be a small part of that. Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express gratitude for the passionate fans who support Kings basketball every night. They welcomed me like family and lived up to their well established reputation as the best fans in the NBA.”