Nuggets coach Mike Malone almost joined the Secret Service once

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DENVER, CO – MARCH 02: Head coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets leads his team against the Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center on March 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 117-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Nuggets coach Mike Malone almost went down a very different career path than coaching. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Mike Malone… Secret Service agent?

The Denver Nuggets head coach revealed that he almost gave up coaching to go down that career path instead on a podcast with CBS Sports’ Matt Moore earlier this week.

Shortly after college, Malone was working as an unpaid assistant at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. To make ends meet, he also held jobs at Foot Locker by day and as a janitor at night. Malone knew he wanted to get into coaching full-time, but he felt lost.

“I remember at one point I came home one night, and I used this analogy with my mother: I said, ‘I feel like I’m a ship out at sea with no direction. Just kind of floating,’” Malone recalled.

“I said, ‘I do love coaching. I want to be a coach. But right now I’m an unpaid assistant, Division II, and I’m working at a Foot Locker and cleaning up urinals and trashcans. You know what? I’m better than this.’”

Malone had a plan: He’d go into the Secret Service.

He applied and was denied initially. But then a family contact told him that if he’d put two years in as a State Trooper, he’d eventually be accepted.

So Malone applied to be a Michigan State Trooper. He was going through training when then-Providence College head coach Pete Gillen called to see if he’d like a paid assistant coaching gig.

Malone took the job and has worked in coaching ever since.

“It was probably the best choice I ever made,” Malone said.

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