The All-Star game coaches are determined by the teams in each conference that have the best record on February 3. In the Western Conference, the Warriors and Denver Nuggets have equal records. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head matchups where, again, the record is even, with the teams splitting their two contests thus far.
The second tiebreaker is conference record, where the Nuggets narrowly edge the Warriors by virtue of having played one more conference game than Golden State has. So, as a result, Nuggets coach Mike Malone will prowl the sidelines for the February 17 showcase.
Kerr has coached the contest twice before: In 2015, his first year as coach of the Warriors, and again in 2017. The Warriors also had the best record at the break in 2016, but All-Star rules prohibit having the same person coach the game in consecutive years. Because Kerr has already had the pleasure of coaching the game twice, it’s safe to say he’s plenty fine with getting some time off instead.
Coaching the All-Star Game is some good recognition for Malone, who has done a tremendous job leading the Nuggets in his fourth year with the team. Despite missing the playoffs a season ago, and suffering serious injuries to three starters, Denver sports an incredibly impressive record of 37-15, and has comfortably been one of the two best teams in the West all year long.
Malone will coach Team LeBron James, and, depending on how the All-Star draft shakes out, could be reunited with Golden State. He was an assistant coach on Mark Jackson’s staff from 2011-13, meaning he spent two years coaching Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Hopefully one or both of those two end up on Team LeBron with their former assistant.
The All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 17, in Charlotte, North Carolina. It will be televised on TNT at 5:00 p.m. PT. Malone will coach opposite Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks, who leads Team Giannis Antetokounmpo.