Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly sat down with Alexis Perry, the host of Courtside Countdown, to discuss the Michael Malone hire as the new coach of the Nuggets. Connelly discussed the coaching search process and offered insight about Malone and why he was the right choice.

Connelly discussed how challenging the process of finding a new head coach was, but acknowledged that the process was still enjoyable. Connelly said the Nuggets staff “talked to many great basketball minds” throughout the coaching search and did concede that it was “not easy not rewarding Melvin [Hunt] with the head coach position, after getting the team back on track”.

Connelly then went on to talk about what made Malone the stand out candidate, discussing how he and Malone have known one another since college and that they both worked together in New Orleans. About their relationship, Connelly expressed, “I know his worts, he knows mine”.

Connelly was confident when discussing Malone saying that, “No one will be more prepared” and that Malone is a “thorough worker” and “lives in the gym.”

During the interview, Connelly described Malone as a “basketball lifer” in reference to Malone’s upbringing. Malone’s dad was a basketball coach in high school, college and in the NBA. Because of this, Malone has been around basketball his whole life and Connelly feels that Malone has a bigger “appreciation and passion” for the game of basketball that you don’t find in every coach.

Discussing the recent Nuggets style of play and if Malone will be able to adjust, Connelly said that Malone “has been around fast teams” and felt that Malone was not getting enough credit because of his low number of games as a head coach. Connelly also said, “playing fast can be achieved in a myriad of ways, through athleticism, ball movement and skill level.” In the end, Connelly hopes the Nuggets can “play fast, but efficient” basketball next season.

Connelly then discussed some intangibles that he felt will excite Nuggets fans in regards to Malone. Connelly expressed that he’s a “good person,” has a “good sense of humor,” is a “tireless worker” and that “no one’s going to be in the gym more than he is.”

Closing out the interview, Connelly said that Malone is “a guy that is firmly committed to the organization, city, team… and that will come off on the sidelines, dealing with media, and in the community… your going to see a real guy.”

With a coach now in place, Connelly will hope that his friend and now employee, can bring winning basketball back to Denver.

Sammy Mugharbil, a Mile High Sports intern and MSU-Denver student, contributed to this report