- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 7, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - New Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson will have one of the NBA’s top assistants on the bench with him next season.

The Warriors hired Mike Malone as an assistant coach Tuesday. Malone was an assistant for New Orleans last season and previously the lead assistant in Cleveland under Mike Brown.

Malone has built a reputation as a top defensive coach and was offered a position on Brown’s new staff with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hornets improved substantially on defense last season, ranking fifth in points allowed at 94.04 per game, down from 102.7 a season earlier.

Malone has been interviewed for several coaching vacancies in recent years. He also is the son of former NBA head coach and current Orlando Magic assistant Brendan Malone.