The Denver Nuggets and head coach Michael Malone have agreed to a contract extension, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment vice chairman Josh Kroenke and general manager Calvin Booth announced Tuesday.
The network’s basketball guru, Adrian Wojnarowski, initially reported that the deal will put Malone among the highest-paid coaches in the league, but the report did not include numbers.
“We are thrilled to announce this extension with Coach Malone and to keep him leading the Nuggets for years to come,” said KSE Kroenke. “To see our team continue to improve year after year, culminating with our ultimate goal of an NBA Championship is exactly what we all envisioned on the day we hired Michael in 2015. This extension is extremely well deserved and there’s no question about the commitment and dedication that Michael has shown to our organization.”
Malone, of course, led the Nuggets to the franchise’s first-ever NBA title last season. Denver has kicked off its encore performance with a Western Conference-leading 8-2 record through 10 games.
Malone ranks third in Nuggets franchise history in games coached (647) and wins (375), trailing Doug Moe and George Karl.
He inherited a team in 2015 that was coming off of back-to-back losing seasons in the Post-Karl Era. Malone united that season with Nikola Jokic, who joined the Nuggets a year after being drafted.
Malone’s Nuggets made the playoffs in his fourth season at the helm in 2018-19. Since that season, the Nuggets have posted a .640 winning percentage, including five straight playoff berths culminating in last year’s NBA championship.
Wojnarowski’s report noted that Malone’s eight-plus seasons in Denver are good for the fourth longest active coaching tenure in the NBA, behind Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs), Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat) and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors).