Brendan Malone dies at 81: Long-time NBA and NCAA coach, and the father of the Nuggets’ Michael Malone, is remembered as a ‘great man’ who had a ‘profound’ impact on his pupils

  • The former Nuggets, Cavs and University of Rhode Island coach has died at 81 
  • His son, Michael, guided Denver to the franchise’s first NBA title last season 
  • provides all the latest international sports news

Brendan Malone, the long-time NBA coach and father of Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone, has passed away at 81.

The Nuggets revealed the news on Tuesday, although an exact cause of death wasn’t specified. 

Brendan’s half-century coaching career began at Manhattan’s Power Memorial Academy, where he was put in charge of the high school’s JV team for three seasons before moving up to varsity in 1970. He soon moved on to nearby Fordham University, where he worked with future NBA coach PJ Carlesimo. Stints and Yale, Syracuse and a head-coaching job at URI soon followed before Brendan jumped to the NBA as an assistant under Hubie Brown and later Rick Pitino.

The Queens native was an assistant under Chuck Daly on two title-winning Detroit Pistons teams before serving as the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors in 1995-96. In fact, Brendan was hired by his former Pistons point guard, Isiah Thomas, who was serving as the Raptors’ president at the time.

‘It is with tremendous sadness that we share the passing of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, who holds a special place amongst the organization and will be a Denver Nugget forever,’ the Nuggets said in a statement. 

‘Coach Brendan Malone was a great man who left behind a great legacy in the world of basketball, but he will be remembered even more for the amazing husband, father, son and grandfather that he was and the profound impact he had on the friends, family and colleagues who were lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts are with the entire Malone family and all of Brendan’s loved ones who are feeling this loss today.’ 

This is a developing story… 

Michael Malone (left) is pictured alongside his father Brendan when the two coached the Kings