Nuggets’ Malone: ‘Sue Bird knows the game’

Nuggets coach Michael Malone is excited to have Sue Bird join the team's front office.

The Denver Nuggets announced Friday they are adding WNBA legend Sue Bird to their front-office team.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone loves the idea of adding person with Bird’s credentials and resume to the franchise, having been told of the news by Tim Connelly, Nuggets president of basketball operations.

“We were all excited when Tim told me that they were going to try to bring her aboard in some capacity, and obviously, when she decided to accept that invitation, we were all really excited,” Malone, a Queens, N.Y. native, said at shootaround before a game at New Orleans on Saturday night. “For me, personally, it’s always great to have another New Yorker in the house. I look forward to getting to know Sue a little better. I have long been a fan of hers, and I think she’ll help us out tremendously.”

Malone appreciates the franchise’s progressive attitude it’s showing adding Bird to its braintrust.

“I give Tim Connelly and our front office, our ownership group a lot of credit for thinking outside the box,: he said. “Sue Bird, what she’s done, from Christ the King High School, Queens, N.Y., to UConn, to the WNBA for for USA Basketball… her resume speaks for itself. I think anytime you can surround yourself with greatness, winners, championship people who know what it takes, you’d be foolish not to.”

As to what role Bird — still the starting point guard for the Seattle Storm, champions of the WNBA — will play with the Nuggets, Malone offered some insight.

“She’s still playing. She’s still a player. It’s not like she’s hung up her shoes and she’s going to be around all the time,” he said. “She still has a career and a season to prepare for. So I think she’s going to be around the front office getting a feel for how things work on a day-to-day basis, she’ll be on the road doing some scouting for us, and that’s what I love.

“If you have a pair of eyes, if you know the game and you see the game, it doesn’t matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. You know the game or you don’t. Sue Bird knows the game. She has an unbelievable IQ. Great feel for the game. She knows talent, she knows players and I think she’ll definitely be an asset in that regard.”

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