Brendan Malone, the first coach of the Raptors and a longtime NBA assistant — including a stint with the Bad Boys Pistons of the late 1980s — has died at the age of 81, multiple teams announced in a statement.
Malone is the father of Nuggets coach Michael Malone.
Brendan Malone first became a coach at the now-defunct Power Memorial High School in 1970, leading the school to two New York City championships in six seasons.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) October 10, 2023
He later became an assistant at Fordham, Yale and Syracuse, before joining the coaching staff of Hubie Brown with the Knicks in 1986. Two years later, he joined head coach Chuck Daly with the Pistons and orchestrated the “Jordan Rules” defense, aimed at being physical with and containing Bulls star Michael Jordan. For several seasons, it worked.
Malone became coach of the Raptors in 1995-96, lasting just one season. He then joined the Knicks (twice) and Pacers as an assistant, before coming to Cleveland as an assistant ahead of the 2004-05 season. He later served as interim coach of the Cavs, finishing 8-10.
After that, he served as an assistant under his son with the Kings, as well with the Pistons and Magic under Stan Van Gundy.
Hoops Wire sends its thoughts and prayers to the Malone family.